From the Field Staff
by Wade Davis
What is a Veterans Care Review?
The Veterans Care Review is a collaborative effort between the Blinded Veterans Association and VA Blind Rehabilitation Service, both of which are directed nationally from the National Capital Area. The purposes of this review are to evaluate the full curriculum of care, to share best practices from each BRC, and to make needed recommendations to the VA Medical Center’s current administration and VA Central Office.
What makes the Veterans Care Review different from past BVA site visits to BRCs?
In the past, a site visit to a BRC would be a one-day visit to speak to the BRC Chief, and the inpatient veterans. We also conducted a walkthrough of the facility and met with BRC staff.
The Veterans Care Review now takes two and a half days to complete and examines in depth everything that is being done at each BRC.
The Veterans Care Review begins with a visit with the BRC Chief, followed by an entrance meeting with the VA Medical Center Director and leadership team. We take a VA facility tour, looking not only at the BRC but other areas of the medical center with which a blind veteran will come into contact.
A meeting with all of the veterans attending the BRC is next, this being an informational session for the veterans and which includes literature about BVA and applications distributed to each veteran.
Each department of the BRC is then interviewed. These meetings include Orientation and Mobility, Living Skills, Manual Skills, Low Vision Therapy, Computer Access Training, Low Vision Clinic/Optometry, Eye Clinic/Ophthalmology, Recreation Therapy, Social Work, Psychology, Nursing, Diabetic Education, Pharmacy, and then the VIST Coordinator individually.
Following interviews in the aforementioned departments, we initiate a final meeting with the BRC Chief and an exit meeting with the Medical Center Director and other general leadership. The meeting provides a summary review of our findings.
A complete evaluation report is sent about three weeks later to the Medical Center Director, the BRC Chief, and to VA Central Office. BVA retains a copy on file.
The Veterans Care Review is improving each BRC we now visit, thus assuring that blinded veterans, both service-connected and nonservice-connected, receive the highest quality of care and training.