The Imperative for Change
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is undertaking one of the most significant changes in the philosophy and practice of health care ever embarked on by an organized health care system. The mission of VHA is “to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.” VHA is the largest integrated health care system in the country and, while facing challenges with issues of access, it is broadly recognized for the high quality of its health care services. The health care crisis in the United States includes high costs that rise exponentially, and disappointing outcomes—particularly in chronic diseases as stated in an Institute of Medicine report on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public, “The
disease-driven approach to care has resulted in spiraling costs as well as a fragmented health system that is reactive and episodic as well as inefficient and impersonal.”1 As with most Americans, Veterans have an increasing number of chronic conditions and they may be returning to civilian life with serious and complex service-related injuries. This combination of disease-driven care, increasing chronic conditions, and greater number of service-related injuries represent significant challenges to VHA. The shortcomings of health care in our country and the resulting financial imperative call for a complete redesign of health care. There is no greater commitment to advancing health care than in VHA—for Veterans, and for the country.
Laura P. Krejci, Kennita Carter, Tracy GaudetRead the full article at: https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=25397823