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Issues at Walter Reed Hospital

Improvements in field treatment have resulted in increased numbers of soldiers surviving wounds that previously would have resulted in death. Many of these soldiers are eventually treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, and there was severe criticism of case management at the facility during the first years of the current Iraq war. Patients were often subjected to multiple appointments to establish the level of disability, and had multiple case workers assigned to them. There was a lack of coordination among providers, and difficulty in coordinating services with the Veterans Administration to ensure that appropriate benefits were available in a timely manner ("DOD and VA," 2007).

Modifications which can be expected to help improve the delivery of services to those who are disabled include having a single medical evaluation which will be used to determine the level of disability, a single disability rating, and an evaluation board based at the Department of Defense to determine eligibility for returning to service. This new approach, coupled with an integrated transition team designed to assist servicemembers transition back to life on active duty or-more often-to life outside the service, has resulted in improved levels of service and patient satisfaction (Craig, 2008).

Craig, W. H. (2008, January 17). Warrior Transition Brigade is worthy of emulation, hospital exec says. Stripe. Retrieved 26 Dec 2009: .

DOD and VA: Preliminary observations on efforts to improve health care and disability evaluations for returning servicemembers. (2007, September 26). Washington, DC: US Government Accountability Office. Retrieved 26 Dec 2009: .


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