Transparency Issues in the VA
By Brewster S. Rawls on December 15, 2014
One of the popular buzz words of our time is “transparency.” The VA makes its share of such claims, including telling veterans and Congress it regularly acknowledges its own medical errors. Indeed, from time to time we see charts that include so-called “adverse event” notes. Sometimes these records can be quite telling and informative. Sometimes they don’t say much at all. Frequently, we see VA records where there were clearly errors made, but there is no adverse event note – not even a vague one. This article from the Tampa Bay Times confirms our suspicion that, in fact, the VA does not always report the “bad stuff.” We’re not surprised. Transparency is good. Being honest about mistakes and problems is one important way that future mistakes and problems can be prevented. Transparency has to be real, however. Otherwise, it compounds the already significant problem of veterans and others simply not being able to trust what the VA is saying. It makes people cynical – and sadly with very good reason.