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DoD visits 7 hospitals and clinics as part of review

Jun. 20, 2014 - 02:31PM   |  
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The Defense Department’s review of its health system includes visits to seven military hospitals and clinics, military officials said Friday.

A Pentagon team has looked at facilities that differ in size, location and management as well as patient access, quality of care and safety performance measures, DoD spokeswoman Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson said.

The chosen clinics and hospitals reflect “a diverse view ... of the DoD health care experience,” Wilkinson said.

The Defense Department announced last month it would examine patient safety and access to care within the military health system in light of problems over patient appointment scheduling and wait times at the Veterans Affairs Department.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work is leading the review.

Facilities visited are: Naval Hospital San Diego and Patuxent River Naval Clinic, Maryland; Madigan Army Hospital, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Winn Army Hospital, Fort Stewart, Georgia; the Air Force Academy Clinic, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Royal Air Force Lakenheath hospital, England; and the joint Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Virginia.

The list does not include Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the hospital commander was relieved last month after the deaths of two patients — a 29-year-old military spouse who died from complications of a tubal ligation on May 17 and a 24-year-old active-duty service member who died in late May after visiting Womack’s emergency room for tachycardia. The soldier had been treated shortly before his death at Womack’s surgery unit.

The New York Times reported that the leadership changes, which also included the suspension of three hospital administrators, were due to the patient deaths and problems with surgical-infection control identified in March by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Results of the Defense Department review are due to Secretary Chuck Hagel by Aug. 29.

Staff writer Andrew Tilghman contributed to this report.

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