Seekins did not give any new information about the investigation into the
In April, the average waiting time for new primary care patients was 34 days -- 20 days over the goal of 14 days. In
"When you're dealing with a heart condition ... or conditions involving strokes, veterans need immediate assistance," he said. The delays also place patients in a danger zone of not being diagnosed properly, or receiving proper care, he said.
While Seekins is not satisfied with the wait time, she sees the decrease as a win for the nine care centers in the area.
One of the obstacles to cutting down wait times, Seekins said, is that even with a large staff to treat patients, space is limited.
"Right now we have the space that we have here," she said. To make the space work in all of the
Seekins said believes the
"For our current workload demand, we are, and we continuously recruit (workers)," she said.
Kabatchnick said hiring more employees and extending hours are steps in the right direction, but more can be done.
"That's a positive, but obviously, there is a problem," he said. "You got a waitlist, you got a problem, but it's solvable."
The VA hospital, which is across the street from
In general, administrators said about 1,500 patients are seen in the
Since Seekins joined the
"Our access numbers did improve (over two years), because we opened up and began providing patients more care in the community," Seekins said.
When she came on board, it was in the beginning stages of a "medical home model," which helps create a care team for patients.
For them, looking to create a patient-centered care team helps improve outcomes, and even pinpoint where the VA can improve in care.
"We're ready, we're strong," Seekins said.
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