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VA Needs Improved Maintenance: GAO


By Dan Hounsell Maintenance & Operations
Entrance signs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lebanon County, Pa.

Deferred maintenance plagues many facilities, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are no exception. An aging stock of hospitals combined with financing that relies on public funds have resulted in facilities that increasingly require maintenance and repairs. Now, a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office recommends that the VA take steps to formally address the issue.

“The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) oversees one of the nation's largest healthcare systems, serving about 9 million veterans at numerous facilities, including 170 medical centers,” according to the report. “To ensure a safe environment for veterans and employees, VHA must keep its facilities clean and well maintained. This can be a challenge given their substantial capital repair and improvement needs.”

“VHA's Environment of Care Program is an important part of its efforts to ensure its facilities are regularly inspected and meet standards. We recommended VHA develop ways to better measure the program's effectiveness and target areas in need of improvement.”

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and Facilitiesnet.com.

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