FAYETVILLE — An oral cancer patient has died after a series of delays in care by staff of the Ozark Veterans Health System, according to new reports.
A report released Monday outlines the results of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs into allegations of delays in coordinating community health care at the Fayetteville Medical Center.
According to the report’s executive summary, delays in scheduling and coordination “limited the patient’s chances of receiving optimal treatment and limited the likelihood of a more favorable outcome.”
The Office of the Inspector General was unable to determine whether the delay contributed to the patient’s death due to the aggressive nature of the cancer and the complexity of its treatment.
The office found that radical excision surgery was recommended by the institution’s ear, nose, and throat provider on March 8, 2020, and the patient consented, but staff at the office of community care did I did not take action for more than 3 months after consultation.
Ear, nose and throat providers at the facility referred patients to regional hospitals because the VA center did not offer surgery, according to the report.
Staff did not schedule evaluation appointments with local head and neck surgeons until after a delay of 140 days, the report said. The Veterans Health Care policy is to schedule an appointment for his community care within 30 days.
“Due to a series of delays and lack of follow-up by the facility’s community care officer, the patient was not evaluated by a regional hospital head and neck surgeon for 6 months and did not undergo community-required surgery.September 29, 2020. He will be hospitalized until 12:00,” the report said. “Patient waited 205 days from initial consultation to surgery.”
According to the report, when coordinating the patient’s community health services, the Office of Community Care staff did not adequately review the patient’s electronic health record, resulting in delays in the patient’s treatment and surgery.
Community care staff also said they “failed to coordinate the patient’s postoperative radiation therapy” and “delayed the coordination of chemotherapy within the 6-week timeline requested by the community provider.”
According to the report, more than nine weeks elapsed between surgery and a follow-up oncology appointment at the institution. I have seen a resident. The resident said the patient was “already nearly three months” from surgery, and the benefits of radiation therapy for the patient “had diminished at this point.”
The patient reportedly received palliative care in early 2021 and died within the next month.
According to the report, the director of the Fayetteville facility said community care staff had seven days to respond to active consultations, 30 days to schedule community care appointments, and a process to approve community care requests. should be monitored and verified to assess and correct deficiencies in
Interim Medical Center Director Christopher Myhaver said in an emailed statement to the Democratic Gazette of Northwestern Arkansas that the medical center has addressed three recommendations made by the Office of the Inspector General in its report, and will resume all appointments every 14 days. We plan to deal with regional consultations outside of Japan.
“The Ozarks Veterans Health Care System is committed to providing the highest quality care,” the statement said.
US Senator John Boozman, R-Ark. Members of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs said in a news release that the delay caused the Fayetteville facility to “fail in its mission”. Both lawmakers were R-Ark., and both called the delay “unacceptable.”