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View Diary: "Killing Puts Spotlight on PTSD"{?} (49 comments)

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  •  What is sad about this is that the very people who (9+ / 0-)

    ... are now claiming that Kyle's murder was some sort of nefarious, left-wing, anti-gun plot are part of the same party/conservative mentality that relentlessly cut VA programs and services to returning vets.

    All of this faux patriotism and rah-rahing of the military by conservatives was for show. The reality was that the Bush administration and even the current Republican-controlled House does not want to fund the VA to the extent the agency needs funding.

    Oh, they love funding the military. Because, after all, that money goes to their pals in the defense industry. But the VA? After the fact for conservatives. And they can't make money off it. So who gives a shit?

    On top of that, the VA is stuck in the 1950s in terms of technology. Their record keeping is atrocious. The backlog in PTSD cases is inexcusable. They are short staff and their organization is a mess.

    Change is not happening near fast enough at the VA. It is a slow-moving, lumbering bureaucracy that is in desperate need of a major overhaul.

    •  Funding mental health (6+ / 0-)

      Let's be honest.  Conservatives don't believe in mental health services. That's why they defund it at every level of government for every type of person.
      They "believe" that praying solves these problem because the devil caused it.  Many modern problems are caused by this.
      Homelessness, drug abuse, PTSD, and yes mass murder by guns.  Time to face up to the problem. This has been going on for over fifty years. The GOP ran the government for years and did nothing.

      One must ask: why do conservatives hate military people.  They love the military because of huge profits.  They hate the people because they cost money and are expendable.

    •  VA is stuck in the 1950s in terms of technology (8+ / 0-)

      They have one of the best Electronic Health Record systems, VistA.

      The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) is an enterprise-wide information system built around an Electronic Health Record (EHR), used throughout the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system, known as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).[1] It consists of nearly 160 integrated software modules for clinical care, financial functions, and infrastructure.

      The VHA manages the largest medical system in the United States,[2] providing care to over 8 million veterans, employing 180,000 medical personnel and operating 163 hospitals, over 800 clinics, and 135 nursing homes throughoughout the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii on a single electronic healthcare information network.[3] Nearly 25% of the nation's population is potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans.[4]

      Over 60% of all physicians trained in the U.S. rotate through the VHA on clinical electives, making VistA the most familiar and widely used EHR in the U.S. Nearly half of all U.S. hospitals that have a complete (inpatient/outpatient) enterprise-wide implementation of an EHR are VA hospitals using VistA


      For its development of VistA, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) / Veterans Health Administration (VHA) was named the recipient of the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award presented by the Ash Institute of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in July, 2006. The VistA electronic medical records system is estimated to improve efficiency by 6% per year, and the monthly cost of the EHR is offset by eliminating the cost of even a few unnecessary tests or admissions.

      And it is Open Source.
      The VistA system is public domain software, available through the Freedom Of Information Act directly from the VA website[15] or through a growing network of distributors.

      Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

      by BOHICA on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:33:30 AM PST

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      •  Does it work? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, aitchdee, jimstaro

        From what I hear from people working on it, it not at all that functional, though they are currently working hard to improve it.

        •  Every time I've been in (8+ / 0-)

          They have all my stuff up to date and it interfaces with MyHealtyVet, where I can log in and download all my records.

          Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

          by BOHICA on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:39:47 AM PST

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          •  That's a big step up from where they were just (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BOHICA, Ginny in CO, aitchdee, jimstaro

            ... a couple of years ago.

            There are many great people at the VA, but even a few years ago, they still kept some records on index cards!

            •  You might want to check out one of Secretary (9+ / 0-)

              Shinseki's best hires, Tracy Gaudet, M.D. as an example of where today's VA actually is. Consider her job title and its implications. I've met her, she's all that and more.

              The VistA system BOHICA discusses above is the open source standard for large scale health care, developed by and for the VA and presented as a gift to any who want it.

              “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

              by DaNang65 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:48:42 AM PST

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              •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DaNang65, BOHICA, aitchdee, jimstaro

                I know Shinseki is making big changes for the better. Has the backlog for PTSD treatment eased?

                •  I suppose that mostly depends on what VAMC (6+ / 0-)

                  one goes to. Here in Tucson, for example, we have several outstanding PTSD programs (I've personally done most of them), including an inpatient unit and an extensive network of PTSD therapies that have modest waiting lists, a month or two at most. The VA sponsors an on site peer support group. They just built an addition onto the Mental Health building (it's just about to open any day) that about doubles the existing Mental Health building, itself only a few years old, after the programs outgrowing their space in the main hospital.

                  From my understanding Bay Pines VAMC in Florida is another bright in the VA PTSD and MST (Military Sexual Trauma) galaxy. There's lots more.

                  I work with a not-for-profit that offers what I believe is the most effective PTSD treatment available, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to veterans at no charge. We get many referrals from VA practitioners, and there is a VA counterpart program here as well.

                  “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

                  by DaNang65 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:07:45 AM PST

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            •   New health record program roll outs (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Johnson, jimstaro, DaNang65

              are notorious for dragging on. I've been in 4. One I had to stop the agency using the scheduling section and go back to paper because we were missing home care visits for all disciplines. (This would be like not assigning a nurse to an inpatient for 24 hours, and worse.) Health care has had some of the worst programming for decades because the for profit system would not invest the money.

              The VA system development was unique because of the number of people who were health care professionals who also had programming experience. From what I've heard, most people who are used to for profit systems are impressed with the VA program.

              There are some things that are very convenient and are more cumbersome to do on a computer. Hence the trouble getting the index cards transitioned.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:04:02 AM PST

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          •  That's been my experience too, but then the VAMC (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaNang65, BOHICA, jimstaro

            down in Big Spring was pretty good back when I lived there.

            Good enough, in fact, I gave up the $180-every-two-weeks company health insurance, and started going to what is now the West Texas VAMC exclusively. $2-per-Rx co-pays (including all the Mylanta I could drink) were nothing to sneeze at, for a single parent of two kids working for a newspaper.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:49:09 AM PST

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      •  Became (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaNang65, Over the Edge

        A cause advocate and activist as soon as getting out and my last year in 'Nam after realizing a couple of years previous that for photo ops on Vietnam issues, those paid attention to thus to few, they were taking what had been given to the Korean vets to pay for us.

        And deficits mean that programs are under funded, especially the VA as we continue having wars of choice as well as other actions involving the military like the long running Colombian drug interdiction actions and now people are surprised about the new reports that the military are getting more involved in the Mexican etc. same drug issues, folks been goin on for decades. With these two wars there were two tax cuts, huge for the wealthy, the rest went out the exhaust pipes quickly as gas rose rapidly, all along with the beginning of both.

        Nobody in this Country is Sacrificing A Thing except those serving, their families and the veterans from, but will add another 'except', those who've started or volunteer etc. for the many organizations dedicated to filling a need, and not to feed off the donations, and are successful in what they do but they have to fight constantly for donations with very few getting grants and even fewer absorbed into collaboration with the agency to aid the vets.

        Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

        by jimstaro on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:36:35 AM PST

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    •  AMENS!!!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:25:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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