Healthcare's Role in Taking Care of Our Veterans
During the annual observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, we’ll all remember the service men and women who have volunteered their time, and lives, to our country.
One way the United States has worked to pay back what’s been given to us all is through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its offerings.
Here is the VA’s mission statement: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.
One significant component of this course of action is the health system established by the VA. And it’s likely that a number of you reading this blog right now have taken part in a VA hospital project.
A report released recently by the journal Medical Care even found that the VA health system generally outperforms the private sector in following recommended processes for patient care. The study cites that possible reasons for this outcome include the integration of healthcare settings and the use of performance measures with an accountability framework, disease-management practices, and electronic medical records or health information technology.
As the reality of healthcare reform nears, I wonder if some of the practices of the VA system noted in the report will become more prevalent in the private sector.
However, for now, let’s all pause to remember our nation’s veterans and take note of the work this industry has done to design and build successful healthcare settings for them.