FIRST WE STARTED WITH LOS ANGELES, THEN WE WENT TO PHOENIX, THEN WE WENT TO SAN ANTONIO. NOW IT'S BASICALLY THE ENTIRE VA.
Between shredding records in Los Angeles, alleged secret lists in Phoenix, a scheduling clerk at the San Antonio VA Medical Center stating that he and other clerks were told to “zero-out” appointments, a recent Inspector General report stating that there were facilities that shred 35,000 pieces of correspondence, and now confirmation that the VA fixed the backlog by basically rubber stamping claims instead of investigating them, you have to begin to wonder when are heads going to roll at the Department of Veterans Affairs?
Seriously, anybody who has ever done any type of process improvement or business process reengineering will tell you that unless you fix the bottleneck in your system, all other fixes are imaginary and will not improve the process.
And yet, here’s the rub, firing Secretary Shinseki, accepting the immediate resignation of Under Secretary of Health Pretzel, and even the possible firing of Under Secretary of Benefits Hickey
At some point you have to wonder why she hasn't been forced to resign.
isn’t going to have the ripple change effect that every veteran would want: making the VA better. Sure, firing Shinseki made people feel good. It made the veteran organizations feel like they had accomplished something. The change makes us feel like the VA is changing, but the reality is, unless there is serious restructuring and firing of staff at sites that have been found to have destroyed and falsified information, the VA will not change.
Think about that for a second. Just let it sink in. In an organization that is the largest provider of healthcare in the nation and who has had confirmation that hospitals within its system falsified information, nobody has been fired.
Except, perhaps the whistleblowers.
So what’s the fix to these problems? Maybe the VA has just gotten too big. How would you fix the VA?