Veterans Affairs Launches New Suicide Prediction Tool

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Magic 8 Ball VA Suicide Prediction

The Department of Veterans Affairs just announced the launch of a new suicide prevention data analysis tool to help detect and treat veterans at risk of suicide.

In a press release, VA announced release of its newest suicide initiative called Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET).

What VA is talking about is the use of predictive behavioral analytics from a pilot program the agency started last October. The aim is to provide pre-emptive care.

The program uses software to sift through veteran health data to find veterans who are statistically at risk of suicide. The software will then ping the veteran’s doctor or mental health provider to have them call the veteran to check in.

Of course, we have all seen movies like Minority Report where the premise of the movie involves use of predictive tools (telepathic humans in that movie) to predict crime.

Here, VA intends to use the technology to detect suicide risk.

Is it a little spooky? Yes.

Could it be used for evil? Certainly.

Will it help some veterans? Possibly, so long as VA doctors make the call and use the software appropriately.

I am curious about what company provided the predictive software.

What if VA plans to use a Magic 8 Ball made by IBM and sold to taxpayers for $1.4 billion on a renewable contract at the option of the contractor for 5 years? The doctor needs to shake it three times horizontally, and then three times vertically, to get the answer for each veteran patient.

All kidding aside, my hunch is the system will be run by IBM Watson, but I will find out more at a later date with a FOIA request. Do you have any ideas?

REACH VET Press Release Excerpt

According to the press release:

Suicide prevention is one of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) highest priorities. As part of VA’s commitment to put resources, services and all technology available to reduce Veteran suicide, VA has launched an innovative program called Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET).

Recent research suggests that 20 Veterans die by suicide each day, putting Veterans at even greater risk than the general public. Using a new predictive model, REACH VET analyzes existing data from Veterans’ health records to identify those at a statistically elevated risk for suicide, hospitalization, illness or other adverse outcomes. This allows VA to provide pre-emptive care and support for Veterans, in some cases before a Veteran even has suicidal thoughts.

 “One Veteran suicide is one too many,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin. “This cutting-edge program is saving lives by identifying at-risk Veterans and connecting them with the specialized care and support they need.”

Once a Veteran is identified, his or her VA mental health or primary care provider reaches out to check on the Veteran’s well-being, review their condition(s) and treatment plans to determine if enhanced care is needed. The program began as a pilot in October and is now fully implemented across VA.

“REACH VET is a game changer in our effort to reduce Veteran suicide,” said Dr. Caitlin Thompson, National Director of VA’s Office for Suicide Prevention. “Early intervention can lead to better recovery outcomes, lessen the likelihood of challenges becoming crises and reduce the stress that Veterans and their loved ones face.”

Source: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2878

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Don Karg
Don Karg

04/13/2017

Dear Benjamin Krause,

After a year(s) of thinking —this is what Watson came up with?
Wikipedia
Watson is a question answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language,[2] developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci.[3] Watson was named after IBM’s first CEO, industrialist Thomas J. Watson.[4][5] The computer system was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy![6] In 2011, Watson competed on Jeopardy! against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.[4][7] Watson received the first place prize of $1 million.[8]
Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content consuming four terabytes of disk storage[9] including the full text of Wikipedia,[10] but was not connected to the Internet during the game.[11][12] For each clue, Watson’s three most probable responses were displayed on the television screen. Watson consistently outperformed its human opponents on the game’s signaling device, but had trouble in a few categories, notably those having short clues containing only a few words.
In February 2013, IBM announced that Watson software system’s first commercial application would be for utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, in conjunction with health insurance company WellPoint.[13] IBM Watson’s former business chief, Manoj Saxena, says that 90% of nurses in the field who use Watson now follow its guidance.[14]

IBM’s cognitive computer Watson could use skills to help treat veterans …
http://www.baltimoresun.com/…/bs-md-federal-workplace-va-pilot-ibm-20150110-story.ht...
Jan 12, 2015 – IBM’s Watson could use artificial intelligence to help treat veterans with PTSD … that lasts from six to eight weeks at the Baltimore VA hospital.

These guys who run the VA cannot tie their shoes in front of us they are so paranoid.

And I was kidding about Watson in the beginning statement—-Wow!!!

We are relying on computers way too much.

Sincerely,

Don Karg

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Your FOIA should include wether inactive enrolled veterans data is included in this software program because all veterans have not consented to 3rd parties , receipt of their information or yet alone VA to continually use their information to experiment with new software to implement a tool that is the new form harassing veterans for no reason based on a falsely created metric.
They need to create a software program that can measure employee risk factors for corruption and are high risk for killing veterans.
The old saying is ” fair exchange has never been a robbery”.
Signed,
Your friendly neighborhood Corpsman

namnibor
namnibor

“[The program uses software to sift through veteran health data to find veterans who are statistically at risk of suicide. The software will then ping the veteran’s doctor or mental health provider to have them call the veteran to check in.]”

Already, the future fail and scheming and abusing of this predictive program is in the two sentences quoted above.
We all know how little VA Dr.’s tend to do, and I cannot imagine them actually calling we vets…no, they will even bastardize that by “pinging the Veteran” by going about it in a lazy and harassing way: I predict the VA will send a message only to the identified “predictive patient” to call the VA or immediately have an order of suicide by cop.
Or…the Disruptive Behavior Committee will somehow be intertwined with this “predictive behavior”, and just like in “Minority Report” the VA will then come out with the BRAND NEW…”Predictive Disruptive Behavior Committee” (PDBC)

The “Predictive Disruptive Behavior Committee” will pre-manhandle, pre-harass, and prevent any outspoken Vet, suicidal or not, from ever being heard, especially if the pre-suicide by cop does not work out. Wait for this to become the DBC’s new PRIZE TOOL…

Can Veterans have an equally valuable app for predetermining level of stupid with a given VA employee? All you would have to do is take a picture with your phone and the app will automatically show you the “Predictive Dick Assessment” (PDA) of a given employee with 100% accuracy.

How about a “Fraud Waste Abuse Unethical Determination” app? (FWAUD)…”Fraud” as Elmer Fudd would pronounce it? 🙂

91Veteran
91Veteran

I like the PDA app. Sorta like seeing if they are aliens while wearing special goggles.

Gretchen
Gretchen

This is 100% correct. My boss was the Chief of Urology for one of the VAs. My brother was a Vietnam vet and we discussed Agent Orange and bladder neoplasia. He basically blew me off and said that Agent Orange stuff is all bogus…and he was the smart, kind hearted doc who got into medicine through the Airforce. How about some of those other souless docs? I can see ever injured ego will generate a ping. And what does “enhanced” mean? Does it have anything to do with electricity, if you catch my drift. Very worried about my PTSD patient brother and his VA appts. now! What could possibly go wrong?

JUAREZ
JUAREZ

What happened to having a system that, regardless of the behavior of the PTSD patient, only the best bedside manner is tolerated? What happened to having a system that makes the Veteran and his or her family feel encouraged to bring his or her troubles to a trusted “HOME”? What happened to having a system that clearly demonstrates a genuine commitment to the healing of the Veteran?
What happened is Brentwood School, UCLA Baseball stadium, Salvation Army residential housing, a Director at WLA that favors non-veteran special interests more than the individual PTSD/TBI Veteran patient and the concerns of the grassroots Veteran community.

Mr. James Franklin Moore, Sr.
Mr. James Franklin Moore, Sr.

I had some wise a$$ remarks’ for this article but, I see that you guys’ have this situation well in hand… I would like know what happen too that same program that they had down on a check list form years ago…? Did they take the time of read those old paper forms we filled out that said that we wanted to kick some VHA-a&&, before committing such an act on ones’ self and why in the blue blazes they need an App., when in truth they need a truck load of hearing aids for most of the staff members.., working in those hospitals… “What about an APp, for I don’t give a rats’ rear-end type of worker’s walking around those hall’s of catch me if u can medicine….” I had asked the “XO” of the Harbor Health System, if I was too try an take my life and fail could I get into your system and have my teeth fixed then… that rats a$& told em that there was no way that they would admit for anything… So really guys do you really think that a new or old software in the hand’s of a watchmen whom is sleep on the clock 24X7, is watching, let alone reading what a machine has too spit out in 1’s an 0’s and the end of the day…. If you do then take a stroll on too your friend VHA computer lab-room and check the last time the “Norton” software was ever used on their computer. that you we veterans us on daily bases while in those hospitals.. Many years ago the one those machine read that it hadn’t been used in seven years and that I wasn’t allowed too run the program for my protecting before logging into their system…” I wanted to do some online banking and pay some bills while I was away from North Carolina….

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Good Article and information, Ben.

Wonder how the length of time since you have been seen at the VA will factor into your “Magic 8 Ball Suicide Risk Assessment?”

I usually find that I feel suicidal 45% of the time immediately after I have a BAD VA appointment. The remaining percentage I feel homicidal. There is 0% error in my polling data.

What happened to the Subscribe, and Follow Comments selectors? Software glitch?

namnibor
namnibor

@Disgruntled Veteran- “[What happened to the Subscribe, and Follow Comments selectors? Software glitch?]”

We are to now utilize the VA’s magic 8 ball to predetermine resulting comments posted.

Do NOT confuse that with the VA’s OTHER “magic 8 ball” which comes each day after dividing up the gains from the pharmacy all spread out on mirrors in VA conference room.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Nam – – – Remember the old “Pepsi or Coke” test?

Over the years, I have seen a few at Honolulu who DEFINITELY prefer Coke – – er, snuff. Haven’t seen them recently.

We’ll see how much the VA (VHA side) is changing in June. They have me scheduled for a whole day of “playtime” from dawn to dusk.

Not looking forward to it.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I’m not concerned about the VA Physician knowing how to operate the software or detecting the severity of a suicidal incident, I’m more worried about how well the VA Physician can speak and understand English. All joking set aside. Anyone else?

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yes, ANutterVet, how many triggers will get pulled simply because English is a second language.

I’m curious how the VA tested this. Did they do a live test over a period of time by entering false data in a real veterans record to make sure the pings worked?

I wonder what they found in their testing for veterans like me who has been assigned 5 different PCPs in 3 years.

Do those PCPs get pings on the beach long after they retired?

namnibor
namnibor

@91Veteran- I can see just that. A given VA Psych Hack from somewhere other than USA hears the Veteran use the words of the new toy acquired for kids, a “Slippery Slide”, and the VA Hack interprets that as “Suicide”.

“Susie Cries”- Suicide
“Sewer Side”- Suicide
“Sushi or Fries”- Suicide alarm goes off in VA Canteen Cafeteria

My point is, has this program been fully tested to take into consideration phonetics and even Ebonics?
Who did the VA actually test this on? Ring Knockers with penchant for catchy words?
Piggy VSO’s.
What if a given Vet just loves Death Metal or is into Goth? Suicidal PING?
What if I am playing the MASH theme song on piano at home, “Suicide Is Painless”? Same result, swat?

Angela
Angela

Yep, I hear you Namnibor and you as well 91Veteran. Really though yes this is a tool but how effective is it going to be is the question? The VA is constantly trying to come up with new ideas using technology to assist veterans. I do not necessarily agree. They are avoiding the real issues and avoiding fixing the real core problem within the VA. The bottom line is it is the system in regards to accountability, humanness, ethicality etc. and with providers who really qualified to handle the veteran’s potential planned or unplanned suicide with initiating appropriate quality care based on the veteran’s behaviors, thoughts, feelings and actions. So they now have this technology but like I have just said, “Will the VA providers do their jobs to the best of their ability to save the veteran’s life?” Or is the provider going to be an intern that is handling the issue and not a full fledged physician? Or is the VA doctor not going to be able to be contacted or located to handle the crisis? Many questions? Yes, the VA can come up with all these external distractions but when it comes down to it, are they going to do the deal with saving a vet’s life?” In the recent past, the VA packs the vets full of pills and sends them on their way. The VA needs to assist the veterans in providing safety, initiating hope, providing intensive therapy one on one with it being face to face with the therapy leading to helping veterans to try to come out on the other side of the excruciating pain while coming to believe in life as a precious creation of God.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Check this shit out from “Military.com/Daily News”! In my opinion, just more B/S from VA.
Titled:

“VA Now Posts Wait Times, Private-Care Comparisons Online!”

12 April 2017
“Military.com” | by Richard Sisk

For some reason, I feel they’re just pulling a fast one on veterans!

91Veteran
91Veteran

I think this is the same as the USA Today article I posted yesterday Crazy Elf.

More garbage in, garbage out.

Rich B
Rich B

Yesterday I mentioned that I would let you all know how my c/p exam when for my sleep apnea secondary to my asthma/copd went. The examiner indicated it was more likely than not… so looks like I won this battle.

Dennis
Dennis

Hey, I have a Jim Dandy idea……

Why don’t we use the Million Vet genetic database to determine which vets are might become suicidal on a statistical basis? Then as part of the proactive computer model for suicide we could inform every suicide prevention coordinator to enter a flag of “High Risk” into the CPRS database. I had one of those flags once, put there by VA. It’s called a Cat 2 flag.

This great idea I have stems from direct personal observation of the potential in VA hands of their modus operandi regards to suicidal patients. I am just illustrating the logical progression here.

With genetics data firmly in their Fort Knox of personal information database that they posess (with slippery fingers) of so many vets would it not make sense to apply known genetic techniques to “assist” the computer in determining high risk suicide patients that do not otherwise present with outward symptoms?

It would certainly become evident through genetics which veterans would be at most risk, and irregardless of the current mental state of the veteran, the computer might be right on as accurate as any other government computer and this of course could save lives if we do indeed embark upon predicting the future behavior of veterans.

Genetics makes this possible.

Of course with a Cat 2 flag for high suicide risk placed into your official medical record there is a federal mandate that Department Of Homeland Security be notified and while it is not illegal to posess a weapon, it becomes illegal for anyone to sell you one once the CPRS system held by the federal government has entered into it a Cat 2 high suicide risk flag.

Furthermore as a predictive effort to save your life, when the VA places a Cat 2 flag for high suicide on your genetic ass, then upon being 15 minutes late for ANY VA appointment, your caring VA suicide prevention coordinator gets notified via CPRS messaging that you are “missing”. (I am still betting you s is a joke…)

She then, tearfully, calls the local police where you live with whom VA has an “agreement” and initiates a welfare check – for your safety. The local police will come to your door and if you refuse to let them in they will stand in the street and begin asking you in front of your neighbors if you areplanning suicide. They will inquire if there any weapons present. (not joking yet)

This is how the predictive model currently in place works and it is called a Cat 2 PRF for high risk suicide. The difference that I can see is that now they want a computer to make the determination, instead of the facility Suicide Prevention Coordinator. To me this seems a logical progression because a computer can process genetic data as well enabling the prediction of high risk of suicidal ideation among MANY more veterans than just one person per facility can…

Just remember one thing when the police show up to your door, and this is not a joke. When they ask you, will you go with us? It might appear that you are being given an option. You are not. If you say “yes”, then to them they legally have in custody a mental health patient who is cooperating with treatment. If you say “no”, then to them they legally have in custody a mental health patient who is refusing treatment. One scenario merits handcuffs and the other does not. When you get to the VA mental ward, if you say, “Release me now.”, they will place you on a statutory 7 day mental health hold, for the same reason of refusal of treatment. (not making up a fucking shred here).

If you smile and nod and be kind to your captors, then within one day or so they will meet and determine you are stabilized. They do not meet on weekends or federal holidays. Then they will release you to resume your life.

This is how predictive suicide prevention at VA plays out.

Can we have a show of hands how many vets want to be saved by VA? (this sentence was a joke)

Gretchen
Gretchen

Why are any of you complying with that genetic database? Are you crazy? Don’t do it!!!

namnibor
namnibor

I did not ‘consent’ but just when has the VA followed the laws, specifically, privacy laws when $$$ can be had?
The VA would bottle Veteran Farts if they could gain some value from we non-human test subjects.
This article’s talk about the VA’s predictive software launched is also highly experimental and you can bet if the VA can see the results from this under the guise of “research” they will.
Never mind the suicide rate will more than likely remain the same, if not increase because the LAST THING ANY PTSD VET WANTS IS TO BE BACKED INTO A CORNER OR BEING FELT AS SUCH…that’s exactly how “suicide by cop” with Vets takes place. The VA does more than nudge and until they get it, nothing will change.

God Syndrome and Ego’s Inc., the VA’s last in their class hacks.

Rant Out….(maybe)

91Veteran
91Veteran

Nam, it has GOT to be research. I can’t believe something like this can be developed without flaws, so it will have to be adjusted over time, which in my opinion puts it in the realm of research.

I just can’t believe any ethical reviewer of a proposal for this would conclude this as anything other than research.

How many times will the VA rely on this until it gets reliable enough to be above 60% accurate?

How many times does Microsoft put out software patches?

I suspect this software would have to be updated as often, but how many vets will die by suicide because the VA believes their Atari Suicide Search will catch everything they miss?

Again, the article mentioned by Nitewish mentioned having access to a veterans social media data and cell phone content.

Can anyone believe this software would be as accurate WITHOUT access to that kind of data?

When was the last time any veteran had a conversation with a VA provider that would be anywhere near like they might have on social media? Or texting a buddy?

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, I find this whole scheme to be particularly offensive.

At what point was I or any other veteran notified that my medical records would be provided to a third party for thought crimes? Or key word searched for any possible problem they deem should be looked at?

I have a BIG fucking problem with this, simply because of the potential for error and abuse.

This supposes that VA whale with the 3 inch nails and sticky jelly fingers didn’t fat finger an entry, and suddenly when I show up for a VA appointment, I get treated like a bumped United flier.

Or I’m sitting in the couch one evening watching the Stanley Cup and suddenly a nervous SWAT team busts through the door and shoots my dog.

WTF? Really?

This also supposes a MH or PCP provider is paying close enough attention to actually enter data that would be caught by this Google Suicide Search.

Ideas for a FOIA?

Well, one request is why or how veterans have been notified of this happening.

Who decides what keywords should be searched?

What recourse does a veteran have, other than fighting some lazy bureaucrat for years, to have their name cleared after a false accusation of being a suicide risk?

All of these should already be spelled out in clear VA policies.

What policy do they have to Quality Control this mess? Add keywords? Remove key words? Whether it is being abused? Whether some AFGE thug learns a keyword trigger, and enters it in a veterans record?

Or will it be like my VA record where the PCP makes an incorrect menu selection stating a test cannot be conducted because I was incoherent, and the data cannot be changed?

Shulkin says he wants to be transparent. I suggest he provide whatever documentation you request Ben.

As for a keyword trigger being made, what exactly will a MH or PCP provider do once triggered?

Yes, it says they will reach out? What does that mean? Leaving a voice mail and going back to Hungry Hippos? Calling Swat? Smoke signals?

Again, I find this very offensive because the VA hasn’t shown they can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Windguy
Windguy

C’mon Ben. This is just another acronym wrapped around a well lobbied contract for some beltway mainstream healthcare software bandits already cuddled up to a bus load of malleable Congressmen who now have a retired VA executive on their BoD. Hell, anyone who can fog a mirror can predict suicide. Send a bunch of guys off to fucked up wars, make them do horrible shit for the profit of others at the expense of the innocent. Then take a percentage of those adrenaline junkies who did multiple(s) of tours, and give them the finger when they ask for what they thought they earned and pick their names out of a friggin hat. The odds of picking the right ones are far better than buying lottery tickets.

REACH as were past programs and likely future programs, are merely bi-products of a transaction. It doesn’t really matter if they work – or not.

Gretchen
Gretchen

Hmmmm. I see lots of “armed vet” false flags coming. When in doubt, blame a vet. This is getting scary. Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?

91Veteran
91Veteran

As I mentioned above, at what point will other keywords be entered to search for predictors of other problems?

Nicotine in a lab test so you are required to go through their anti-smoking program?

THC in a lab test triggers the pharmacy to cease all prescriptions with a note to the DEA?

The 300 pound whale doing intake, and the scale automatically triggers enrollment in their weight loss program?

Why not use different keywords then for other medical issues common among different era veterans?

What keywords would send an electric zap to a VA doctor for Agent Orange diseases? Gulf War diseases? Burn pits? TBI?

Many of the symptoms reported by any of the above are common among any of those veterans, so why not use this search function to benefit those veterans?

Why? Well, clearly because it would be beneficial to veterans.

namnibor
namnibor

“[…What keywords would send an electric zap to a VA doctor for Agent Orange diseases? Gulf War diseases? Burn pits? TBI?…]”

I suggest all VA practitioners at all levels of unqualified to be implanted with Advanced RFID chips (ARFID) at the base of their spine. (providing spine is something other than jelly fish)

When provider requires notification of following:

Agent Orange related diseases- Actual Agent Orange is released from the chip to central nervous system of hack.
Gulf War related illnesses and Burn Pits- Spared no expense, the ARFID chips are MADE from Plutonium, so a little zap is no issue to program at varying degrees. 🙂
TBI- Massive Cluster Headaches and bleeding from eyes and ears.

ALL the above have the programmable option to cause Stairmaster accidents at the congressional gym in addition to described alarm methods. Spared no expense.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Nam, I think the ability to trigger the Stairmaster launcher is directly proportional to the investment in RFID businesses Isakson has.

Reminds me of years ago when the RFID industry hired former politicians to push their sales. These former hack politicians started pushing other politicians to pass legislation mandating putting RFID chips in all kinds of things, including anything defined as livestock.

If your cow wasn’t chipped, you couldn’t take it to the stockyard,

Same with your sheep. Same with your horse.

Gretchen
Gretchen

Aaahaha….did I just hear your ping? Seriously, you are right on!

Ex va
Ex va

This tool has been in use since Oct. ohhh, great. Hasn’t taken the suicidal numbers down, but it is saving lives. The va doesn’t want to treat by private sector standards when a Veteran admits to suicidal thoughts or attempts.

The va is a risk to a suicidal Veteran because they refuse to treat them according to standards in the private sector for treatment. It would cost too much money to treat a suicidal Veteran inpatient to get him stable on medication or therapy. Money is more valuable than a Veteran life.

If a Veterans meds stop working or something triggers their severe PTSD and they feel like they are confused, unstable, or cannot sleep, having night terrors and suicidal thoughts. Please go to a good hospital emergency room and seek help there. Do not trust the va with your life. Tell someone you trust and let them help you get to medical treatment. Sometimes you have to try different medications before you start feeling better. Sometimes it takes time. God Bless.

Ex va
Ex va

I do not trust a predictive analysis tool using past data to determine if a Veteran may or may not attempt or commit suicide. It sounds too invasive and a failure. We Veterans are human and too unpredictable to be analyzed by past data to determine what we may or may not do in the future. Our lives, thoughts and interactions are too sophisticated in nature to be explained thru a predictive analysis tool.

This is just another attempt of placing a bandaid on something that requires surgery. It will fail as these other programs have failed. The majority of Veterans will still have to suffer with substandard care that the va wants to give us.

91Veteran
91Veteran

That makes me think of another FOIA suggestion for Ben, Exva.

If this Magic 8 ball is searching records for triggers for suicide, what is the timeframe they will be searching?

Can this system actually search an entire historical record of every veteran? Or will it only search records for a given time window, such as the last year?

What if a veteran returned from Vietnam or the Gulf War, and was suicidal then, but after treatment, is no longer suicidal?

I don’t recall the specific age, but I thought a good majority of veterans committing suicide were older, like that veteran left in his car for 5 days. If VA providers can’t pick up on clues of possible suicide after treatment going on years, what the hell good are they?

Then again, how many of these veterans have fought the VA for years for proper care, and finally say the hell with it after their latest denial?

Rather than paying a contractor for a billion dollar Suicide Search feature, why not just look at the VA claims denials?

I’m sure there have been enough suicides following denials that they could find some pretty damn good predictors in there.

I guess this also means all those veterans given the “lost in the fire” excuse are just shit out of luck.

Or already dead after getting that excuse one too many times.

namnibor
namnibor

“I guess this also means all those veterans given the “lost in the fire” excuse are just shit out of luck.”

No worries, the VA will **magically** discover the records were located at Area 51 all along.
If it will benefit the VA, they will be found.

Angela
Angela

Yep, Ex va, I agree with you wholeheartedly. All a bandaid trying to avoid the real deal. I disagree with the VA perspective that the past is a predictor of the future. One’s past is not an indicator of what may happen today. Yes, there maybe a history of severe problems or whatever but this history is just a snapshot in time. Just because it has happened does not mean that it will reoccur. This perspective that belongs to the VA is just a way for them to hold on to the past that gives them an excuse to discriminate, be biased, hold a veteran back, and keep the veteran from living a life to his or her fullest potential.

Angela
Angela

And too, when the VA has knowledge or records of the excruciating pasts of the veterans, it gives them an excuse to keep permanent labels on the veterans in which the VA uses as an excuse to justify not investing in the veterans in the now or future because the VA projects that if the veterans were once a risk that they will always be a risk. This not true. Anyone who is suicidal I would not trust the VA. I have lost all my trust in the VA. After really witnessing, whether it be with my friends, from my own experiences, or from national horror experiences from other veterans across the country, I do not chose to trust the VA with my life if I can help it.

Angela
Angela

All part of their defeatist and sabatoging perspectives.

namnibor
namnibor

Benjamin- Great “Bad VA Art” today. She’s a VA Patient Advocate, right? Maybe the VA could utilize some of their own psychic employees at Philadelphia VAMC where in last year or two employees were forced to attend employee group psychic parties.
I’m thinking just like in that book/movie “Minority Report”, the VA psychics will be placed in water-filled tubs to do their predictive vindictive behavioral analysis.
Only problem is finding water tubs large enough.
Solved.
Horse and cattle water troughs might work in a pinch, with no room for actual water.
Is the water really necessary?
How about filling the troughs with tapioca and vanilla wafers?
My prediction is this would be a BIG hit amongst the bulbous purple teams at the VA.
I even predict an ingrown horse/cattle feeding tough in their future and an AFGE Extraction Team.

^All just as ridiculous as using a given Veteran’s past behavioral records and medical data to predict what we crazy-ass Vets will do at any given moment.
What if a given Veteran only tried to commit suicide once and it was 30 years ago? Does the predictive program take into consideration that a Veteran may have improved their own lives by staying away from the VA but once PINGED, it all starts over again?
This entire idea is shit.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Here is information the who, what, when, cost on how this came to be:
“http://data-informed.com/sentiment-analysis-tool-designed-to-predict-veterans-suicide-risk/”

91Veteran
91Veteran

Very informative NiteWish.

It makes me more curious how the VA can use this with accuracy given that article.

Yes it is keyword searching, but it was also clear about using social media content and access to a veterans cell phone content.

Ain’t going to happen with me.

It also contains words like “opt in” for their testing. I don’t recall ever having the choice of opting in to the VAs little experiment, and it certainly is an experiment unless the VA has already conducted testing to determine accuracy just based on VA medical records.

Has the VA changed any other processes regarding a veteran seeing a VA provider to insure accuracy?

Such as training providers in what language to use?

Now that the VA has put this gee whiz bang system on line, what will they do when the vet suicide rate stays the same?

Considering the vet who set himself on fire, the vet who sat in his car for 5 days, the vet in Albequerque who killed himself outside the doors to the hospital all seemingly killed themselves after being turned away by the VA, will this system trigger a ping to VA management at some point to get their shit together?

NavInfPO6
NavInfPO6

91Veteran: what will they do when the vet suicide rate stays the same? . . . . .
The question should be – what will they do when the Suicide rate INCREASES?

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yep NavInfPO6, increases, or causes a serious decrease in getting proper care because vets have less trust in these nitwits after news of this being used gets out.

Remember that bullshit excuse that the VA didn’t want hospital quality data made public because they thought it would bring distrust to vets?

As if this won’t?

The shit will hit the fan the very first time a vet is falsly pinged. Trouble is, will a vet be able to determine they were pinged by VAs Atari Intelligence Suicide Search? Or are VA providers being trained to lie to vets and tell them, ” we were just reviewing your record (first lie) and noticed you seemed on edge (second lie), and thought we would call.”

You know this system will have records of what triggered a ping. The VA will do everything they can to hide those records.

You can bank on it.

Lem
Lem

Every ping will be false unless the vet has a gun to his head, a plastic bag over it or some other means of a final exit in action. That is the way most of us are even though we’ve been on the verge several times. So that remark is off center.

If you’ve been there it is a very short distance back.

Hopefully this is a step in the right direction. It is active instead of passive and watching veterans blow their brains out in the parking lot.

91Veteran
91Veteran

The email subscription check box is back and it is working Ben.

Thanks for bringing it back.

Jo3n
Jo3n

Since in Alabama, 15 years, I can’t remember how many psychiatrists I’ve seen. For last 8 months, I haven’t seen my psychiatrist. Just some scared to death kid. I’ve learned well, anything you say to some of them, can be hazardous to your health. I agree with everybody. June, Oh well, I’ve been waiting for forty five years, what’s another couple of months…. God Bless the Veterans. I don’t really feel comfortable talking about suicides. Too many, too close, and for too long…

namnibor
namnibor

@Jo3n- Right there with you on too many Veteran friends have been lost to suicide in just last 6 years.

Cantigny
Cantigny

the heck with this suicide predicition tool. sure, i have compassion and HOPE it works, but from all of our combined experiences, more times than not, VA will use it neg to the veteran. beats me how regarding details but they always find a way. do they not?

more times than not, what you say at a VA appt is indeed twisted a bit and written down as a bit neg to the veteran and not VA. just go look at your VA med record and see for yourself.

i know it is past time for opinions of this or that regarding VA/VBA & veterans plight with it all. take a look around and see what has worked for other groups, marginalized or not. they had tried our ways too, didn’t work for them. what did?

**they organized and marched.

the VA/VBA and Congress doesn’t care one iota about all our colorful opinions, media reports or whistleblowers, etc. do they? if they did something would have been fixed at VA/VBA.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Namnibor @91Veteran @cj @Disgruntled Veteran @Corpsmanup! @Ex va @Crazy elf @Rich b @Dennis @Jo3n – Can’t the VA Physician detect if a Veteran is going to or has thoughts of suicide when the Veteran has their scheduled Office Appointments with their Primary Care Physician [PCP] or with the Veteran’s Behavioral Health Physician or Professional [BHP]? Is the VA relying more on the REACH software application in detecting the possible behavior of the Veteran, compared to his-her Physicians perceiving or discerning that the Veteran has the possibility of committing suicide and is in crisis?

Either I’m missing something here, or this is askew or distorted. Something doesn’t add up or sound right about REACH’s full functionality in respect to suicide prevention, and how or what pinging criteria will be used in conjunction with the VA Doctors or Health Professionals. Anyone like to chime in here?

namnibor
namnibor

You are correct. Now going forward, the VA will likely fully blame the continued or even escalated Veteran Suicide rate on the very predictive software needing a $$$$$ band aid “fix”…completely removing any VA Dr. from any responsibility….that’s what I see coming with this.

Wait for it to be linked directly to VA TeleMentalHealth. “Max Headroom” will be everywhere. I predict this will make even less Vets use the VA if they have other options.

Ex va
Ex va

@ANutterVet, i think it will be something else that they will blame on with the continued failure of the high numbers of suicide in the Veteran population. It will be like the 1-800 number failure, the suicide prevention team failure, the clinic waitlists failures.

The va doesn’t take responsibility that they started these programs/experiments and that they have failed. The va says we spent millions on this problem such as the 1-800 line and hired suicide prevention teams and now a predictive analysis tool. The va doesn’t state the outcomes of these programs/teams or the newest predictive analysis tool. The va cannot because that would admit to failure and they refuse to tell the truth. They never tell how these programs and tools really work and that is another piece to the problem. If they don’t answer phone calls, if a sick Veteran cannot get an appointment. What is the point? As per usual business operations it is all for show. I did reports and analysis for the va and found shocking numbers at the clinics of actual Veterans being treated it was approximately 35% at those clinics was actually treated. Some va medical centers have only 40% of entitled Veterans actually using va services. Some are even less. And let me tell you that the va knows how many phone calls are not being answered and how many Veterans they turn away from cancelled by clinic tactics.

If a Veterans tells a medical professional that they feel suicidal or are having suicidal thoughts or attempts, that medical professional is negligent for not treating a Veteran in crisis. The va is responsible to care, treat and assist a Veteran who is suffering from illness, disease or injury.

Why do we Veterans have to suffer from their substandard care? It is negligence and criminal and what is done daily in the treatment of Veterans. I did not understand all of it when i was going thru it but this blog has put a lot of things into perspective for me. I am not so shocked as before but i cannot say i agree with any of it. I am still against the crimes against Veterans and I always will be.

Lem
Lem

If you are going to reduce the numbers of suicide you have to start somewhere. At least this is an effort. Not clear the main culprit is being tagged (anosognosia) but at least it is a step in the right direction.

I don’t agree with lady Angela about “getting cured”. You never get cured of somatization. Pain is pain and the reaction to it is ultimately a finale exit if no relief is obtained.

namnibor
namnibor

Any software program can be created to be incredibly helpful.

However, when the “hardware human” is corrupt, you might as well infect a brand new computer with as many viruses as you can muster.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The hardware needs replaced at the VA.

Bilk
Bilk

Will they run rhis analytic before or after I waste myself.

If they wait until after they can tell Mr And Mrs taxpayer their tax dollar could not be better spent as a result of this “tool” they succesfully predicted suicides but they have also succesfulling lowered the cost of disibility monies being paid out to non breathing veterans who were previously breathing veterans and collecting disability.

What could be a better case scenario for the assholes who could not care less. BONUSES FOR ALL paid by of course from the monies not being paid out to dead veterans.

Will B
Will B

If the VA is implementing it, you can bet with certainty it will be used to loophole Veterans out of deserved benefits and suck up as many tax dollars as possible.

James vc
James vc

SciFy bullschitt save your money , use a dartboard , call a name and flip a coin , draw names from a hat or use the time honored eenie meenie minee mo technique ………

Rob D
Rob D

I thought it was bad when I had an appt. cancelled and their excuse was “We called you, but you didn’t answer, so we cancelled it” which really ticked me off. But NOW it’s actually possible for them to say “We called you, but you didn’t answer, so we called the police to kick your door down”. Stuff like this never ceases to amaze me……

Gretchen
Gretchen

I think it is time to vet the doctors. If the doctor isn’t chairman of the department, or a resident in training, then he is very likely one of the dregs (like doctors who take horrible care of our elderly in nursing homes). These docs will do anything for a buck. No agenda is too horrific.

Bill
Bill

Dept heads are just the dregs that got promoted.