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The Scoop

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Verbatim: VA updates on inpatient 'pause'

The VA Northern Indiana Health Care System issued this statement tonight:

The review process is ongoing and will continue to progress forward for the next several weeks. In the near future there will be a team from VA Central Office on campus to provide a set of fresh eyes to review the work that has been accomplished to this point and provide insight into future opportunities to improve.

The clinical processes are not the only areas in which VANIHCS has been making improvements. We accelerated the basic remodeling of the Intensive Care (ICU) Unit and Acute Medical Unit (AMU), ahead of schedule to take advantage of the pause and minimize future impact patients would have experienced during the original project schedule. The administrative team took this opportunity to review and update policies that will allow us to implement the policies as we reopen instead of implementing changes after we are operational.

The temporary pause of the inpatient operations on the ICU and the AMU will remain in effect until facility leadership is assured they have established sustainable, high quality safe systems and processes, and can confirm staff competencies are in place. It is very important to note that no Veteran has been forced to wait on care, there has been no impact on outpatient clinics, consult services or outpatient surgery. Additionally, key leadership positions need to be filled and in the interim, acting leaders will need to be designated for there to be an effective and smooth reopening.

Prior to the pause, the Chief of Medicine retired and it is important to get a highly qualified physician into that role to lead the team before resuming admissions. VANIHCS has additional vacancies in key positions that need to be filled in order to oversee the new processes that are being established and to provide the highest level of care to the Veterans. VANIHCS has a team of human resources professionals on the ground in Fort Wayne that are actively recruiting for these vacancies. We are working with VA facilities around the country to identify healthcare professionals who can fill these vacancies on an interim basis in order to help facilitate the reopening.

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