Another BMJ Blogpost on Mid-Level Language

Just had this posted on the BMJ blog. 

I hope you share it.  Here it is:

Suzanne Gordon: What we call healthcare professionals matters

25 May, 16 | by BMJ

suzanne_gordonThe other day I attended a patient safety workshop at a major US hospital. The physicians and nurses, IT, and other quality and safety staff in the room were deeply concerned about the latest report in The BMJ documenting that 250,000 patients a year die from preventable errors, making this the third leading cause of death in the US. Almost all the attendees agreed that learning concrete teamwork skills and flattening hierarchies is critical to patient safety as well as job satisfaction, employee engagement, and staff retention. And yet, as the attendees shared their concerns and experiences, almost all of them used terms that are inherently anti-team and reinforce the steepest healthcare hierarchies.

When, for example, the physician participants talked about nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (Pas), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) as a group, they referred to them as “mid-level providers” or “mid-levels.” When … Continue reading

Article by Under Secretary for Health at the VHA from Federal Practitioner

vha_mat_croppedPhysician David Shulkin is now Under Secretary for Health at the VHA.  He has just written a compelling explanation of why the Veterans Health Administration is different than private sector health care systems. And he should know.  For years, he was a chief executive officer at a number of prominent private sector health care facilities. Dr. Shulkin has just written a concise explanation of the difference between VHA  and private sector healthcare for The Federal Practitioner. While this article focuses on the way the VHA serves veterans, it also spotlights the models of integrated care  the VHA has developed — models that should be adopted in the wider healthcare system.

I asked his permission to post it here.  When someone with Under Secretary Shulkin’s experience with private sector healthcare explains why it can’t replace the VHA, we should listen.

Is VA health care really “all that different” from what veterans would find in the private sector?

As someone who spent more than 25 years managing private sector health care organizations and recently joined VA as its under secretary for health, I’ve had the unique opportunity to compare the health care systems. … Continue reading

Amazing Letter from Iraq Veteran About VHA Future

4032e2d72a05467a912d28bc0ac6ffed-4032e2d72a05467a912d28bc0ac6ffed-0This letter was sent to the Commission on Care at the VA by an Iraq veteran.  It has been redacted to protect his or her privacy.  It is amazing.  Please read it.

From: left out to protect privacy

To: Commission on Care
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Iraq War Veteran Date: Sunday, April 17, 2016 1:57:49 AM

Dear Commission on Care Members

I writing this in hopes to make you understand that the VA is more than a place that Veterans just get their health care at. Also I hope that my story will make you understand that the VA is more than worth saving because the VA saved ME! My name is and I am a Army OIF/OEF Veteran and have been getting my care at the Clement J Zablocki Va Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI since 2008. While I do understand that the VA has many issues and flaws but the issues are worth fixing by keeping Veteran health care within the VA system. First I want to start by saying that being a veteran is a brotherhood and going to the VA keeps us connected to each other. The VA is … Continue reading

Letter Sent to the Commission on Care from VSOs

This is a very interesting and important letter that leaders of the nation’s top Veterans Service Organizations sent to the VA Commission on Care following an April Commission meeting where VSOs were finally invited to present their response to the Strawman document in which seven Commission members proposed total elimination of the VHA in 20 years.

April 29, 2016

Ms. Nancy Schlichting, Chairperson Commission on Care
1575 I Street, NW, Suite 240 Washington, DC 20005

Dear Chairperson Schlichting:

We want to thank you for inviting representatives of our veterans service organizations (VSOs) to engage in a candid discussion with the Commission last week about the future of the VA health care system and veterans health care. We hope that this frank exchange of ideas with Commissioners has contributed to a better understanding of what veterans think as well as our views on how to reform, strengthen and expand access to high-quality, veteran-focused care.

We write to clarify an apparent misunderstanding by some Commissioners regarding comments made during the Commission’s meetings about the current access standards used to determine veterans’ eligibility under the current Choice program, specifically the 40-mile and 30-day requirements. Several VSO representatives stated their views … Continue reading

New Blog Post about VA at BMJ

This was just posted on the BMJ blog.  

Hope people will read and pass it on.


Suzanne Gordon: The future of the Veteran’s Health Administration

29 Apr, 16 | by BMJ

suzanne_gordonBy the end of this year, the US will have a new president as well some new members of Congress. The results of the 2016 election will not only effect the further implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but the future of the country’s largest healthcare system—the Veteran’s Health Administration. That’s because most of the Conservative Republicans running for President—as well as many of those running for or already serving in Congress—are not only determined to repeal Obamacare. They are also committed to dismantling the largest and only publicly funded, fully integrated healthcare system in the US—the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Even many Democrats are not fully supportive of the VHA. While Hilary Clinton says she does not support privatization of the VHA, only Bernie Sanders (D. VT) has demonstrated a deep understanding of what … Continue reading