San Diego, Philadelphia, other facilities falling short on best practices
February 4, 2016
In total, six of the VA medical centers evaluated since September did not meet requirements for training employees in suicide prevention or risk management. Three facilities, like the Philadelphia hospital, also did not properly execute all suicide prevention plans.Multiple Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country have been flagged in recent months for insufficiencies in their programs to prevent veteran suicides.
In the last five months, seven VA hospitals have been the subject of reports produced by the agency’s inspector general that highlighted insufficient employee training, patient monitoring, and safety planning in their respective suicide prevention programs.
The inspector general found fault with facilities in Butler, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Anchorage, Alaska; and Manchester, New Hampshire.
The Philadelphia VA hospital was the site of a reported veteran suicide in November. The review of the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia was completed about a month before a disabled veteran allegedly jumped to his death from a parking garage after seeking psychiatric treatment.
According to the Jan. 14 inspector general report, the vast majority of new employees at the Philadelphia hospital were not trained in suicide prevention or suicide risk management within the required time frame. Fourteen of 15 employees did not undergo suicide prevention training within a year of being hired, hospital records indicated.
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