SAN DIEGO (CNS) - New patients at Veterans Affairs medical facilities in the San Diego region generally had to wait nearly 44 days for a primary care or specialty care appointment, according to a system-wide audit released Monday.
The Department of Veterans Affairs launched a nationwide access audit last month after it was reported that patients at the VA medical center in Phoenix died while awaiting care. The scandal led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
The audit found that in San Diego, 94 percent of appointments were booked with a wait time of 30 days or less, but new patients had to wait an average of two weeks longer. New patients seeking mental health services were seen, on average, in 34 days.
Established patients at the VA San Diego Healthcare System were seen within three to five days, according to the audit.
The Escondido Community Outpatient Clinic was one of 31 flagged for requiring further review from facilities visited during phase two of the audit. The VA said the finding was based on responses by top officials at the facilities to questions and from comments from the site reports.
Nationally, the audit found that an "overly complicated scheduling process" results in "high potential to create confusion among scheduling clerks and front-line supervisors"; meeting a 14-day wait-time performance target was "simply not attainable because of a growing demand for services"; 13 percent of scheduling staff interviewed said they were instructed to enter a different date in the scheduling system than what the patient asked for; and pressure was placed on schedulers to make waiting times appear more favorable.
The national audit also found that staffing problems were discovered at smaller outpatient clinics.
A 28-year-old man died Wednesday after he was found shot in a car in San Diego's University Heights neighborhood, police said.
Calling all aspiring entomologists! You're invited to San Diego Botanic Garden’s Insect Festival this weekend!
Comic-Con International, again expected to draw a wide array of fans of the popular arts, will conduct its annual preview night at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday night.
A 25-year-old man suffered a fractured femur today when he was shot in the right leg by a man in San Diego's Chollas View neighborhood, police said.
Lanes were closed Wednesday on Mission Gorge Road between Fanita Drive and Carlton Hills Boulevard because of a water main break, officials said.
Hundreds of friends and family on Tuesday gathered to celebrate the short but powerful life of a Chula Vista teen killed in a hit-and-run crash.
Denzel Washington returns to the big screen in 'The Equalizer 2' on Friday, July 20 at a theater near you!
A pedestrian was struck and killed Wednesday on northbound Interstate 805 near Imperial Avenue, according to California Highway Patrol.
Monsoonal moisture continues the chance for afternoon thunderstorms. Moisture will decrease Friday through the weekend, reducing but not eliminating the chances for thunderstorm activity.