Surprise Inspection At Memphis VA Hospital As Audit Of All VA Clinics Ordered

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(Memphis) The Memphis VA Medical Center received some unexpected visitors Thursday.

They were there checking to make sure veterans who served their country don’t lose their lives to inadequate care.

The Joint Commission handles accreditation for hospitals, and they showed up just two days after a whistle blower accused the Memphis VA of using contaminated dialysis machines.

Hours after the commission showed up, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs ordered a nation-wide audit was ordered of all VA clinics.

The Memphis VA has been in the spotlight before.

There was an investigation after several patients died when given the wrong medication a couple of years ago.

Hospital officials said unannounced visits from the Joint Commission are routine, the last one in Memphis was late 2012.

The inspection caused concerns for some veterans about their safety.

VA patient Brent Gillespie said, “They have a lot of employees that are good, but some are just here for a paycheck.”

On the phone, the spokesperson for the Joint Commission told WREG it can not say what sparked the visit and or what it found.

Despite the surprise inspection, some veterans insist the Memphis VA is giving them the best possible care.

E L Hurt, Jr. said, “I’ve been coming to the VA since 1994, and I get good service.”

Veteran John Whiting added, “I’m trying to figure out… What’s the problem, because I don’t see a problem!”

According to the hospital, there is no problem.

A spokesperson said there never were problems with the dialysis machines and eight of the thirteen were sent for routine testing.

That is leading some vets to question the reliability of the whistle blower.

“Some people get excited and panic and say the wrong thing, and it’s bad,” Whiting said. “It’s really bad.”

For those veterans already nervous about their care, Thursday’s inspection and the national audit are only adding fuel to the fire.

“Lives are at stake!” Gillespie said.

No one from the VA would do an on camera interview.

In a statement, we were told they will be sharing information about safety monitoring and their surveillance processes in dialysis patient care.

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