Department of Veterans Affairs – Blacklisting Patients

The Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics, and hospitals have some problems, and some issues in dire need of solutions. One of the problems in need of a solution is the complaint process. Currently, if a Veteran has a problem, they are encouraged to go to the Patient Advocate; however, this system allows the VA to identify the complaining Veteran, and as I have found out, retaliate against that Veteran.

People in the civilian sector, and most of the Veterans, are unaware of the capability built into the electronic health record system enabling the Veterans Administration to flag a chart. I understand the need for employees to be aware a particular Veteran has the propensity to be violent, but conversely I fear this ability to “flag” a veterans’ medical record could be abused. I can see how such a system could lead to veterans being blacklisted by the very institution entrusted to care for them.

I would not feel this way if I did not have first hand experience with retaliation from a VA employee. A few years back I had a problem with an employee at the VA. I wrote a letter of complaint in the hope my problem would be corrected. Up until 2 years ago I assumed the problem had been handled. I gave no second thought to the matter until I was literally confronted by the same employee I complained against. This happened over the phone when I had a problem that came under this particular persons’ job duties. Moreover, since this incident, I have had several problems with that persons co-workers. To say the least, I am afraid to speak my mind anymore out of fear of reprisals. They have made it clear to me that everything I say, and do at the VA is being monitored. To me it is all a bit over the top considering I had a legitimate complaint; furthermore, I have NEVER threatened, or abused an employee at the Veterans Administration. The only “sin” I commited was to comlain about harsh treatment.

If I can have this many problems because I wrote ONE letter complaining about harsh treatment, imagine how bad it could be for others? By the way, if you are a Veteran, or the spouse/family member of a Veteran, take my advice and do not complain to the Patient Advocate. The Patient Advocates in the Veterans Administration clinics, and hospitals are a joke. They are there to protect the VA, not the Veterans. Do not fall into the same trap I have fallen into. Avoid the Patient Advocate like the plague. Take your complaints higher up the food chain. Contact your representatives in Washington, D.C., I know I will.

It does not take much of a mental leap to see how a system that allows employees to abuse patients, could use the option to electronically flag a patients chart, in a way that is not consistent with quality, compassionate care. Dare I use the word ‘blacklist”? I do not think it would be too far out of bounds to do so.

Thanks for stopping by,




Filed under Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Political, Veterans Issues

3 responses to “Department of Veterans Affairs – Blacklisting Patients

  1. Pingback: Versatile + Blogger = Award for Final Nominations «

  2. I was abused by a social worker at the VA and when I went to the Patient advocate at the VA and the first person I spoke to made excuses for the Social worker and second one only asked if the Social worker did what I said she did, the social worker heaped more abuse on me with her response. She said I was confused and called me a liar. There is no I way I was confused about her telling me I made up my childhood to get people to feel sorry for me, I was not mistaken about her telling me I was born a sociopath and many, many more things in the half and hour she denied me the right to leave her office while she verbally abused me. The patient advocate rep said there is nothing more they can do, because the social worker said she did not do it. I spent years being abused by trying to get someone to do something about her. This is over ten years old. Nothing was ever done. She is more than likely abusing others still.

    • I am so very sorry to hear this has happened to you. I have had situations in which various staff members tried to take advantage of me, and run rough shod over my treatment plan. I really had to stick to my guns, and not back down, not allowing them to bully me. One situation they ganged up on me in a conference room trying to get me to change what had been working for a number of years, and to pawn me off on another VA clinic. I plopped a tape recorder on the table when they got ready to start the meeting, and they made me shut it off; however, it set the tone, and they wound up doing even more to help me. They still tried to make me go to another VA, but I refused because I know it is my right to be seen at the VA of my choice. In the end I won. This is not to say I have won every time, but when I do not win, they know exactly how I feel. Most of the time it is a compromise situation.

      The next time you talk to anyone at the VA, take a notebook, and write down the names of all the people you deal with, and make sure they see you do it. Ask them to spell their name even. This will help put them on their toes. The last thing they want now a days is to have a bad letter sent to their superiors, or to Washington, DC. I am afraid you cannot do anything about what happened ten years ago, but do not let that discourage you from seeking the care that is rightfully yours. Stick to your guns, write down names, take notes, and be prepared to fire off a serious reprimand to a higher up. As for the patient advocate, they really do not do a whole lot for anyone. The times I have went to them, I wound up with a bigger problem.

      Good luck to you, and keep me posted.


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