Veterans Administration secretary says Dallas hospital improving

The new acting Secretary of the Veterans Administration is saying that the Dallas V.A. hospital is changing for the better.

Peter O’Rourke has been visiting V.A. hospitals all across the country. On Monday, his message of change came to Dallas. He says that there is still work to be done at the Dallas V.A. facility, but it is changing for the better. In fact, the most recent Office of Inspector General’s report says Dallas is one of the most improved hospitals in healthcare quality.

The improvement is coming at a time where hospitals across the country are changing the way they operate.

“The V.A. is changing its direction from where we've been [in] a closed environment to really bringing out the thousands of great things we do every day for veterans,” O’Rourke said.

Still, he’s telling the hospital’s leaders that their work is not yet over, and that they should continue to take action to improve quality of care metrics and patient satisfaction.

“It’s one of the issues that we are always looking at from an improvement standpoint and also [an] accountability standpoint,” O’Rourke said.  “It’s a great measure for us to be able to say how well are we serving veterans today.”

At the Dallas hospital, the two phases of providing care are changing. The hospital is looking to improve its mental health care and its women’s services division, and they are looking to keep on the new course, no matter the circumstances.

“The mission doesn't change,” Medical Director Dr. Stephen Holt said. “[It has] stayed the same throughout. It’s to care for veterans and to provide the services we legally can for their families as well.”

The V.A. said it has improved its technology to better track healthcare of veterans. It is also planning on opening a new emergency wing in the next few months.