Cleanliness issues exist at many VA facilities, report finds

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A new report from the Office of Inspector General for the Veterans Health Administration found VA facilities generally met requirements, but cited problems with facility cleanliness and panic alarms.

The OIG conducted unannounced visits to 51 randomly selected VA health facilities across the country from Oct. 16, 2017 to Sept. 14, 2018. Inspectors reviewed clinical and administrative processes for 474 patient care areas across all facilities. They also conducted interviews with facility leaders and staff members.

Six report findings: 

1. Eighteen percent of VA patient care areas had dirty vents, and 13 percent had dirty floors.

2. Thirteen percent of furnishings in patient care areas were either dirty or broken.

3. Environmental cleanliness noncompliance was often due to lack of oversight and staffing challenges.

4. Of the 27 locked mental health units reviewed, 15 percent did not test alarm systems monthly.

5. Eleven percent of alarms in high-risk areas at community-based outpatient clinics were never tested. 

6. Leaders and VA police were typically unaware of alarm testing requirements, according to the report.

The OIG made 16 recommendations for improving cleanliness and safety in VA facilities. For the full report, click here.

A new report from the Office of Inspector General for the Veterans Health Administration found VA facilities generally met requirements, but cited problems with facility cleanliness and panic alarms.

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