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Salt Lake VA hospital escapes major problems with waiting periods

By Becky Bruce and Linda Williams, | Posted - May 27th, 2014 @ 6:57pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake's VA hospital has escaped the major problems that have plagued 26 other facilities under investigation nationwide.

“We just had an audit a couple of weeks ago to go in the hospital and really take deep dives into our processes and our systems, make sure our access numbers are looking good," spokeswoman Jill Atwood said. "And Salt Lake City is doing very well.”

Atwood said the facility is following national scheduling guidelines, and currently about 40 veterans are on an electronic waiting list. She called that "exceptional" and said veterans in primary care are seen in less than 28 days.

However, the recent audit does not mean the Salt Lake facility is problem-free, Atwood said. She said wait times for specialists in Salt Lake is longer than administrators would like, and the audit is giving them an opportunity to improve.

"I think it is a system-wide issue, nationally," Atwood said. "We have a lot of veterans coming home, our system is inundated."

“We are just fortunate in Salt Lake City that our processes are working well and we’re getting them in as quickly as we can,” she said.

She said veterans in Salt Lake City still are waiting a little bit longer than they want to, and that’s not acceptable to the VA.

National problems involve allegations of deadly delays in health care treatment for veterans.

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