Remote 'eye in the sky' keeping tabs on VA hospital patients

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2012 - 8:50 PM

Technology brings specialist care to remote VA hospitals' ICU units.

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bluekiwiFeb. 26, 12 9:37 PM

The VA supplies the best medical care anywhere, at any price. The VA is run by the government and is second to none, even the Mayo lags the VA when it comes to certain care and results. A conservative, (Phillip Longman) wrote a book titled " Best Care Anywhere" about his findings on the VA.It's only about 130 pages and reads like a novel. I had a hard time putting it down. You don't have to buy it, most libraries have adequate copies of both the 1st and 2cd edition.

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AirForceGuyFeb. 26, 1210:10 PM

I work for the VA, and all I have to say is that it's probably the worst organization in the entire government. I hate working there and am looking for work elsewhere. It's so top heavy and ineffective that all the technology in the world isn't going to help it. And by the way, bluekiwi, with respect, I'd really like to know what metrics that book you mentioned really looks at. The care I've received from the VA has consistently been atrocious. So I'm guessing the book looks only at numbers...which are meaningless in this context.

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mn2niceFeb. 26, 1210:29 PM

Hmmm, sounds like tele-commuting has arrived at the VA. I wouldn't trust it as far as I could throw it. And these days, that isn't very far.

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toby3061Feb. 27, 12 6:47 AM

The VA isn't perfect but after being treated for over 10 years for end-stage renal failure, I have nothing to praise to offer. They treat more patients than any hospital in the world and they do it as best they can. I hear some veterans gripe but they keep coming back. Rather than complain, just transfer to a non-VA!

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jackpinesavFeb. 27, 12 8:14 AM

Bluewiki is right. Other books about health care studies show our VA and MEDICARE compare very well with British, French,, German and other countries. Our big drawback in US is our expensive and non-productive insurance system.Think about that when politicans want to give you that voucher to go bargain with a medical conglomerate VP.

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rockoftruthFeb. 27, 12 9:03 AM

I had triple by-pass surgery at the Mpls VA. The doctors bedside manner was absolutely the best I had ever seen. I think one of the nurses I had was airforceguy. The doctors and nearly all of the staff were the best. Hopefully this type of pioneering will help lower healthcare costs. Thanks to the VA.

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manoflogicFeb. 27, 12 9:30 AM

bluekiwi: respectfully, I disagree with every aspect of what you said about the VA. I have had nothing but trouble with the VA for 35 yrs, including them doing tests on me for illegal drugs without my knowledge, taking me off hydrocodone with no rampdown and leaving me to fight withdrawals on my own for 8 days, being unable to get bp meds refilled, errors in my medical records, doctors that had no concept what the VA Patient doctrine was and treated me like a cow in a chute, the list of problems with the VA medical reads like a horror story, but don't tell ME that its the best medical system on earth. To me, its a perfect example of WHY the GOvn should keep its hands off of the medical system!!!

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wwheinFeb. 27, 12 9:51 AM

I can only speak to my experience with the VA medical system and have found it professional, courteous and respectful to me as both a patient and a veteran.

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manoflogicFeb. 27, 1210:01 AM

When airforceguy says the VA is top heavy, he isn't kidding. The upper and middle management of the VA are the key reason the VA is the mess it is, and then add to the fact that the VA is where Doctors that are lower rung go to practice, and you have a poorly run, mismanaged bad dream. The few Dr's that are good stand out like a sore thumb in the VA and are so weighted down with patients that even they have trouble achieving good medical practice. I really wish I could say the VA was a great place to go, and yes, I know, go someplace else, right? before you say that, realize that economically, for a 100% disabled Vet living on $27k a year, there IS nowhere else I can go.

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windmywatchFeb. 28, 1212:01 PM

Oh I get it. VA chose to spend manpower dollars on telemedicine rather than ICU nursing staff. Want to bet "eye in the sky" even costs more.

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