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McCaskill Statement on the Reopening of Surgical Suites at John Cochran


Location: Washington, DC

Following today's announcement that surgical suites at John Cochran Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center are reopening after being temporarily shut down on February 2 for sterilization concerns, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill made the following statement about why it's crucial the hospital continue to work directly with veterans to improve the overall quality of care. Last month, McCaskill joined local veterans and VA officials to launch the Veterans Customer Satisfaction Program aimed at improving veterans' experiences at St. Louis area VA healthcare facilities through confidential feedback from veterans who participate in an online survey.

"While I'm pleased this situation was quickly identified and properly resolved before any veterans were harmed, it's a situation that cannot happen again. Our veterans deserve the best treatment possible. My primary focus is, and always has been, on the direct input from our veterans as they seek the care they need. With their honest feedback, we can work with the VA to make the necessary improvements to give them the quality of care they deserve," McCaskill said.

The Veterans Customer Satisfaction Program was launched by McCaskill with the help of veterans, the VA, patient advocates and concerned members of the community as a way to address frustrations and concerns that veterans experience with their VA healthcare, as well as to assess the quality of their care and seek solutions where problems are identified. The program empowers veterans to be "secret shoppers' within the region's VA healthcare facilities so they can provide confidential feedback that will help improve care and customer service at such facilities. Veterans will have the opportunity to complete a confidential survey about their experiences at St. Louis VA medical centers. The data from the surveys will help McCaskill and local veterans organizations compile quarterly reports with recommendations to the VA on improving veterans' experiences.

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