Dorn VA Medical Center in South Carolina Changes Care Practices After Investigation

Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C., is changing some of its policies in response to a federal investigation of a patient's death from a bacterial infection, according to a Miami Herald report.

The investigation was spurred by complaints filed by the deceased patient's daughter with the VA and the office of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R), according to the report.

The VA's Office of the Inspector General concluded that while the hospital did not cause or likely contribute to the patient's death, it needs to change some of its practices to prevent lapses in care, according to the report. The VA's OIG identified nurse understaffing, unreliable meal delivery, lack of nutritional counseling and communications breakdowns among medical staff as some of the problems at the hospital.

For example, the OIG found that two trays of food were left outside the patient's room but were not brought in due to failed communications. To prevent this situation from recurring, the hospital now requires nursing assistants to deliver meals directly to patients, even those in isolation precautions, as the patient was, according to the report.

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