» Watchdog Report Urges VA to Boost Hospital Security Measures and Oversight

Watchdog Report Urges VA to Boost Hospital Security Measures and Oversight

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 14, 2018 - A new report revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to implement a number of federal security requirements at medical centers nationwide. The findings concluded the shortcomings are potentially exposing patients to the risk of harm.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) evaluated the agency’s security measures and risk management protocols. The watchdog found the VA did not fully follow the standards for federal buildings established by the Interagency Security Committee (ISC).

“It is vital for security at VA medical centers to be comprehensive and up to date to ensure patients are not put at risk of harm,” commented Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The department should take immediate steps to implement the GAO’s recommendations across all its hospitals. This should not be a one-off occurrence. Officials should consistently evaluate the quality of their security measures through a clearly mapped out strategy.”

One of the key security lapses the report noted was that VA hospitals are not required to modify security measures according to varying threat levels. The ISC has identified five factors when considering threat levels. The VA does not include facility population and size, which are two of the factors.

The VA requires all of its health care facilities to have silent distress alarms, security cameras, a police force and perimeter fencing. However, security levels vary across each hospital. For example, police forces at many medical centers had vacancies due to recruiting challenges.

The GAO investigation found that there is also a lack of oversight across VA facilities. Key security decisions are left up to local officials. As a result, the VA lacks the ability to measure security performance and determine the effectiveness of various measures.

Lori Rectanus, a GAO director, sent a letter to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. in which she said that VA hospitals nationwide have recently faced multiple security threats including violence and weapons attacks. As a result, it is crucial for the VA to examine its handling of security.

VA officials said the agency’s policies were developed before the ISC issued its guidelines in 2013. They agreed to reevaluate their risk management protocols and comply with the GAO’s recommendations to enhance oversight of security across its hospitals. Officials said the agency aims to implement all the recommendations by January 2019.

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Approves Funding for New Veterans Homes
    Jim Fausone, Esq. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved funding from the VA State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program to build two new veterans homes in Michigan. One home will be constructed on the existing 90 acre property in Grand Rapids, and another at a location to be determined in Southeast Michigan. The VA […]
  • Veterans health care center closes after deadly hostage situation
    A part of the Veterans Home of California, the Pathway Home in Yountville, California is closing for an unspecified amount of time after employees were taken hostage by a gunman and killed. The home provided academic and vocational care for post-911 veterans in preparation for returning to the civilian world. The Pathway Home’s board of […]
  • Federal Circuit Rules Veterans Can Seek Benefits for Pain Related to Service
    Kristina Derro, Esq. For 19 years, lower court precedent has prevented veterans from obtaining disability benefits based on pain alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs has, until this federal holding, required that pain be attributed to a specific medical diagnosis. Going forward, veterans should be able to obtain disability benefits for pain that is related […]
  • Study show long-term care differences in civilians and veterans with TBI
    New research from the Veterans Administration TBI Model System shows that extreme differences exist in outcomes and characteristics between veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and civilians with TBI. The study highlights the important implications of long-term care for both injured veterans and their families. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA |



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required