Atlanta VA Medical Center announces changes to improve - CBS46 News

Atlanta VA Medical Center announces changes to improve

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The director of the Atlanta VA Medical Center announced a number of improvements implemented at the hospital since she took over in May.

"I want every veteran to know that we are committed to serving them with the level of excellence that they have already earned, and that they certainly deserve," said Director Leslie Wiggins at a news conference on Thursday.

Recent investigations found scores of problems at the hospital including violations of patient safety, mismanagement of medicine and a lack of adequate staff.

However, the most alarming finding by investigators was several patient deaths, including two suicides, that may have been prevented.

"I cannot say that I think anyone should be fired," said Wiggins. She noted two hospital employees have been reprimanded, and that further action could be taken.

"The organization is taking the whole matter very seriously," said Wiggins.

Wiggins said among the changes that have already been made:

  • Tighter controls to improve patient safety
  • Additional mental health workers
  • Reduced wait times for patient appointments
  • Secure database tracking system for every veteran

Wiggins said the hospital's long-term plan includes expanding various outpatient services.

"We're watching daily," said Wiggins. "We're watching the information daily to enhance what we have already put in place as we go forward."

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