New High-Tech Data Fusion Center To Track VA Health Care Problems

37
VA Fusion Center
Photo from USA TODAY

Secretary David Shulkin will implement a new data fusion center with similar capabilities down the road to those used nationwide by law enforcement to monitor VA health care problems.

USA TODAY was given a sneak peek at the system:

Now, a cadre of monitors clustered deep within the VA headquarters in Washington is trying to upend that trend. They are stationed in a new “healthcare improvement center,” which tracks problems at VA hospitals across the country and dispatches help to fix them — ideally before they turn into crises.

VA Secretary David Shulkin gave USA TODAY an exclusive sneak peek at the center, where maps and lists are arrayed over 16 screens in a setup that resembles, well, an Uber-like control room for veteran health care.

Workers can toggle between various data points, including rates of death or avoidable complications, staffing and wait times. Red dots indicate hospitals faring poorly.

Shulkin likens the new system to air-traffic control instead of the data fusion centers used by law enforcement, which may be a more apt comparison probably not used by the agency to avoid spooking its criminal employees constantly scheming at every turn.

What Is A Data Fusion Center?

Data fusion centers are intelligence gathering centers used by national and local governments in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice that were set up largely between 2003-2007.

According to Wikipedia:

The fusion process is an overarching method of managing the flow of information and intelligence across levels and sectors of government to integrate information for analysis. That is, the process relies on the active involvement of state, local, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies—and sometimes on non-law enforcement agencies (e.g., private sector)—to provide the input of raw information for intelligence analysis. As the array of diverse information sources increases, there will be more accurate and robust analysis that can be disseminated as intelligence.

VA is moving closer to better integration between IBM Watson and its new Cerner led electronic health records. As the integrations reach their finality, it seems likely they will also be integrated with the fusion center presently being unveiled.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/31/exclusive-va-goes-high-tech-uber-like-tracking-center-veteran-health-care/814754001/

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

37 COMMENTS

  1. I think this doesn’t actually mean a lot. Could be a PR stunt to show that the VA is doing something “cutting edge,” but as Ben has pointed out numerous times, the VA will distort the data entries (wait times, etc) so that everything will seem fine to the data centers. Of course, it’s much harder to hide deaths, but I suspect the control center will never learn about my 1.5 hour wait a few weeks ago, despite the fact that I had an appointment!

    • What would it matter to their system if your wait was 1.5 hours? From what is described in the article, it might take several vets waiting 1.5 hours before the siren goes off, then how many days will it take a flunky to evaluate the siren, then do something about it?

      Shulkins analogy about this system being like air traffic control is pretty piss poor. If the nations airport traffic controllers reacted as slowly as the VA does to serious problems, 5 to 6 smoking craters daily at many airports around the country would be acceptable.

      You would also have random planes burning in the woods with a controller claiming it was just a campfire and nothing to worry about.

      Mid air crashes would be blamed on passengers so the controller could get a bonus.

      FFS Shulkin portrays this system as if the VA is going to parachute in some fatback tuna beast to the local CBOC in Bugtussel. But only if a siren goes off.

      Imagine that platoon of beasts on an alert pad somewhere waiting to jump in.

  2. “[…Workers can toggle between various data points, including rates of death or avoidable complications, staffing and wait times. Red dots indicate hospitals faring poorly….]”
    It does NOT require equiv. of USAF’s Cheyenne Mountain Tracking to keep track of VA’s shortcomings and even IBM’s Watson has been telling them, “You could have saved Billion$ by just displaying a totally red screen because the systemic mess is one BIG RED fucking DOT”.
    Oh, and that ability to “toggle through various data points”, is nothing more than Nurse Ratchet’s menu of death options…like a modern witch’s recipe book.

    What I am suggesting is, these expensive electronic toys are nothing but an elaborate smokescreen painting over or whitewashing problems and IBM Watson in hands of VA Hacks is still allowing the idiots to manipulate & SELL the data. Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO).

  3. I agree with “devildog320”!
    Information still would have to be put in the system by someone! IF the information isn’t factual, then the read-out will be flawed!

    Just another bullshit move by Secretary of VA, Dr. “Shithead Shulkin”!

  4. I’ve made this analogy many times: “Jurassic Park”…they too, had an elaborate data center…but the reptiles still escaped due to that little thing called “Chaos Theory”, of which, the VA oozes with Chaos so what could possibly go wrong?!

    Difference is the VA views we Veterans as the reptiles and we view the engorged purple teams as the reptiles and we’ve been at this impasse for generations of VA.

  5. “[…an exclusive sneak peek at the center, where maps and lists are arrayed over 16 screens in a setup that resembles…]”
    Place your bets now on how long it will take before Ben’s Blog has topic: ‘New VA Data Tracking Center 16 large screens used for porn…and am thinking that ex-Chief of VAOIG would have preferred 16 large screens over glass conference room windows.

  6. To me, the following paragraph should set off bells and whistles…

    “Data fusion centers are intelligence gathering centers used by national and local governments in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice that were set up largely between 2003-2007.”

    What of those of us that have had our medical record flagged? Think on it…

    “used by national and local governments in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice”

    And what interest do all these agencies have in our quality of medical care?

    • That’s the VA’s Disruptive Behavior Committee’s *integration* of tech to outside entities to make Veteran Suicide by local law enforcement more efficient.

  7. Two new articles out from;
    “Military.com/Daily News”
    1.)
    Titled;

    “Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Call VA Motto ‘Sexist'”

    Dated: 2 Nov. 2017
    “Stars and Stripes | by Nikki Wentling

    Female veterans want the “…motto changed to be more inclusive!”
    In my opinion, with all the negative publicity coming out from many VA’s nationwide, WHY are they complaining about “inclusivity”? Seems like these women would want better healthcare and their claims processed quicker!
    But, Who am I to question these female veterans?
    _______________

    2.)
    Titled:

    “Hundreds of Recruits Get Sick at Marine Boot Camp!”

    From:
    “The San Diego Union-Tribune” | by Carl Prince!

    From the article: quote: “…cases linked to Shinga Toxin-causing E.coli bacteria…”
    They, 302, got “the runs” from something they may have eaten!
    Reminds me of when, while in boot camp at Ft. Jackson, getting the runs while on “bivwac” the last week of basic, eating the old “C-Rats!”

    • @Crazy elf- The USAF Security Specialist School in San Antonio, TX sent me for 6 wks. additional heavy weapons training at an Army place called Camp Bullis and mind you, this was 1981, so the Vietnam War Era or older C-Rations were reasonably believed to be all right…Camp Bullis quickly became Camp Bullshit and a week later we all found ourselves doing combat exercises/training right in the very woods where many relieved themselves…a few 100 with the diabolical explosive diarrhea(DED). It was the C-Rations…the old box type.

      • I didn’t like the green eggs and the green ham in that boxed lunch, not even on a train or in the rain I just didn’t like them

      • namnibor,
        I was talking about the older boxed type C-Rats when I was in basic (1964) all the way up until I was in Vietnam, for my second tour, in ALL of 1968.
        Later, in 1967 or 1968 (I believe) we in Vietnam started slowly receiving the “LRRP Rations”!
        Remember those in sealed packages?
        In 1969, for a couple of months, I was “tdy” to Ft. Polk as a D.I. at the “Vietnam Village”! The “C-Rats” were being still used there!

        Believe it or NOT, my favorite (once heated) was the “pork and (navy) bean” soup! I even baked corn bread to go with it! Some of my “brothers” would want me to make it for them!
        Of course this only occured some times!

    • Gee, change the motto which comes from Abraham Lincoln will truly make everything better with the VA.

      Friggin fools.

  8. – – – Example of One Flagged Marine – – –

    “http://www.pinalcentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/cg-veteran-afraid-to-get-treated-after-being-flagged-by/article_d36eb70e-7267-5268-987a-6f75c3e4fff5.html”

  9. I’m a little dumbfounded by this.

    I will forever refer to this as the Wide Open Bitch Reduction system…the WOBR.

    Any guesses on how fast the AFGE demands firing this Whistle Blower? Couldn’t they get the same thing or more factual data by LISTENING to human whistle blowers rather than firing them? And at a cheaper cost? Hell they could even set up a keyword search on a few Facebook groups to find where they need improvement.

    This is a slick PR move to try get Donovan Slack at USA Today to write some good PR for the VA since she’s been hammering them hard lately.

    Anyone else picture this as nothing more than fancy steering on the Titanic?

    Shulkin claims it will flash a neon sign if rates of death increase. When does it flash? When the body count reaches 3 its just a yellow light, but 5 or more then sirens go off? I can only see complications or wait times reduced of the doctor is required to have a body camera with live feed streaming in or a veteran with the same camera to show the excuses given by a scheduling clerk. How will that reduce either without some quack scamming the system?

    The article suggests this system might be plugged into other VA data systems in order to alert for certain issues. If that’s the case, it raises a couple questions. 1. Who is ignoring that current system when things are reported? 2. What makes anyone think any VA employee, doctor or director will self report something that throws a flashing red flag?

    It would be very interesting to see exactly what data systems are feeding into this WOBR.

    In the article, Shulkin says it will improve physician productivity. How will it do that without turning VA medical care into assembly line care worse than it is now? So if a vet is allowed to see the doc for 10 minutes for that sucking head wound and it takes 15 minutes, do sirens go off?

    I like how they throw in the usual bullshit about the VA (ON AVERAGE! FLASHING RED LIGHT SIREN) being better than private care, but then further in, they admit when looking at individual VAs, their stats show several much worse than private care. All that means is numbers look good when averaged over a large number of facilities. So VAs affiliated with a university teaching hospital like Yale might have better care because Yale likes its reputation, but VAs in flyover country that have been disasters for years don’t matter because the averaged numbers look good?

    But Shulkin “hopes” to improve those disparities.

    Is hoping a form of failure to act or lead?

    The only silver lining I can see in this is that it should create a record proving VA management should have been aware of a serious problem at a VA. And failed to act.

    • In all reality, the VA probably in effort to keep their tech at best ‘1984’, has IBM Watson disassembled in a utility closet, VA took all the $$$ for electronic records and IT upgrades, kept it, and only spent $$ on 16 very large ‘Operation’ Games from Milton Bradley, you know the ones, with the BIG RED BUZZER LIGHT NOSE? The items causing klaxons to go off left in various Vet body cavities from VA medical are already printed on the body on “Operation” game panels.

      Over the top? Maybe, but I still think the VA will sabotage even this IT effort in order to stay disheveled…it helps stave accountability away when nothing is compatible and the VA just loves 1984 for many reasons. (IBM Watson also might also be used for SES Psychic Parties with his predictability algorithm.

  10. Primary step in Accountable Health Care Organization set up. Taking longer than I thought but then it is complicated.

  11. Here’s an unsettling article from:
    “The Post” —-
    “Featured Article”
    Titled;

    “Afghanistan – Opium funds the Taliban, The Taliban Guarantee Instability!”

    “Posted on Wednesday, the 1st of November, 2017
    By Alice Greene a Staff Writer ”

    AccordIng to the article: “…the Taliban runs 40% of Afghanistan…” while the other 60% is run by the (criminal) government of Afghanistan!
    Where do y’all think all that opium and heroin is going? Which “BIG Pharma’s” are profiting from all these illegal exports?
    The Taliban is also illegally exporting other natural resources out of Afghanistan as well!

    This is a very interesting article! It’s a must read for everyone! Many of y’all might know more about these illegal activities!
    If so, weigh in!

    • To be clear: The drug co.’s are NOT making Oxycodone from black tar heroin, it’s the Taliban and ISIS and various Cartels. The MSM wants to paint the picture that the opioid epidemic (pain pills abuse/addiction), and heroin epidemic are one and the same. They are not. The pain pills may be where a person was overprescribed or RX’d for way too long, got addicted and when Dr. finally cut them off went to street for either more pills or even more readily AND CHEAPER avail….HEROIN…once on heroin, the trainwreck of a life continues to skid sideways upside down and take all in periphery in it’s wake, family, friends…but NOT ONCE has Sessions or POTUS or DEA mentioned being aggressive and wiping-out ALL OPIUM CROPS IN KNOWN AREAS…satellites…hello. Nope. TOO MUCH $$$ is flowing there, and under POTUS Obama I *think* they spent oodles of $$$$ trying to teach or convince the Afghans to grow APPLE TREES. APPLE TREES. My family long ago had a small orchard and I KNOW how many years/decades it takes for a productive apple orchard…meanwhile the Taliban and ISIS offer the Opium farmer’s protection as long as they grow what funds the stuff that goes BOOM!
      The God Syndrome medical giants want to paint a very broad brush and still are not addressing availability of heroin…or even chastising the Dr.’s for overprescribing in past…nope….they are coming down like an axe on anyone that potentially needs pain meds from a procedure.
      I am going to Aspen Dental tomorrow morning as Medicare never or rarely covers anything dental, and I cannot trust the fucking VA to not infect another Veteran from my blood by not properly following sterilization procedures….the dental place has already stated that only in extreme cases will they even consider RX’ing a very light Tylenol 3 for pain and was instructed to stock-up on over the counter meds for pain as my Gov. and AG are again, chastising patients…damn, I need to move in coming year or two. Oppressive Ohio.

  12. Questions for All – – – Does anyone know how one can definitely make sure that their NOT flagged, tagged, or labeled as a rowdy, trouble making Vet (in the eyes of the VA staph)? I’ve been firm in holding my ground, on call my ex-VA PCP on the carpet per my medical treatment according the EBM Triad Model, and Patient Care protocols.

    Plus, how my disability, health, and civil rights have and are being violated. Many VA PCP’s don’t want me as a patient because I probe too much, ask too many round about questions, and have started to say NO when I mean NO. Something is going on due to now having 3 VA Reps calling me, plus waiting on the confirmation of another to join the group of VA providers.

    And this brings me to my second question; “does the VA use a tactic such as overwhelming you with VA contacts, and if a problem comes about that is complex and ruffles some feathers, and then the whole group of them (VA personnel that’re assigned to you), then contact each other to go against you? I’m more than suspicious of how NOW the VA seems to be more than willing to assist me.

    My gut is uneasy about this, and I keep thinking that this could possibly lead to a set-up of some sort? I say this, because I’ve accused the VA of MAJOR violation regarding my health, welfare, and disability rights. What say you seasoned Veterans? – – – Nutter.

    • Has anyone ever seen the screen page on a VA’s monitor revealing the area where it would be checked, marked, or entered that one is disruptive? – – – Nutter.

  13. Dear POTUS,

    I just got a glimpse at the new command center to catch evil doers within VA and I must say it is clear that we both clearly shared two common sets of ideals as children. First we both (clearly) yearned to be made President. Second we both were (clearly) impressed with The Bat Cave. I don’t mean the two single men sliding down the poles to get into tights part of The Bat Cave but rather the more testosterone charged section that showed evil doings popping up on the map… then Alfred tells Batman and Robin what to go do with themselves and what do we have?

    Accountability in action!

    Alfred, get the car fueled up….

    Let’s talk about The Big Board sir, because I like the start;

    “Red dots indicate hospitals faring poorly.” I do like your choice of colors but onscreen can I suggest also that as time lapses for each location that the red dot expand sort of randomly, like a red stain slowly growing? It would be a nice effect and it would be easy to slip into the script here.

    I am thinking too that a good big screen overlay would be nice with various shades of green applied to each location as an overlay. The overlay would be a circle around each facility and for each $50,000,000 in expenditures at that facility the circle overlay would be 25 miles larger in diameter (as the crow flies). As each circle overlapped the others the shades of green would get darker. They say Oregon is a green state? I am betting you find all kinds of pockets (on the map) that are much greener than Oregon. I am sure you can appreciate that.

    I originally was also going to suggest tiny little swastikas for each and every Disruptive Behavior Committee decision which would be sized based on the arrogance of the particular committee involved but then I realized that it would seem like a cheap shot and I AM NOT CHEAP!

    Your friend,

    To be escortd by VA police at all times while on VA property.

    P.S. Tell Robin hi.

  14. Just noticed something about Ben’s photo of that new command center: why didn’t they just place screens on the very large back office chairs? My eyes were tricked into thinking they were indeed super-modern curved screens but alas, silly me, they are just the backs of the hack’s chair in front of the contemplative man sitting there.

    • Or…they ARE screens that plug directly into cerebral cortex much like in ‘Matrix’ movie and the VA Disruptive Behavior Committee Stormtroopers plug-in to download the evil Veterans they chastised in day’s shifts?

      • A little humor for the Day
        I took my glasses off

        “My fear is if North Korea nukes us, Trump
        gonna get us into a war.”
        · Maxine Waters……..2017″

        “I invented the Internet.”
        ~Al Gore

        “America is, is no longer, uh, what it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was, uh, and I say to myself, uh, I don’t want that future, uh, for my children.”
        ~Barack Obama

        “I have campaigned in all 57 states.”
        ~Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

        “You don’t need God anymore; you have us Democrats.”
        ~Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006)

        “Paying taxes is voluntary.”
        ~Sen. Harry Reid

        “Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he is.”
        ~Hillary Rodham Clinton (Quoted1998)

        “You have a business. You didn’t build that. Someone else did!”
        ~Barack Obama (Quoted 2012)

  15. Thought Provoking Questions – – –

    (1.) How is this data-fusion center going to smoothly integrate with the Evidence / Experienced – Base Medicine Treatment Model, and the protocol of Patient Care?

    (2.) How is all of this information going to be correlated, so that mistakes are identified in the VA’s Network in the Health Care field?

    (3.) What major, impactful and new ways, above and beyond what humanoid VA PCP’s judgement calls that can-should-will detect these areas of errors or mistakes?

    (4.) Are there any projected issues that are perceived or thought to come about when implementing the Artificial Intelligence Detection Services (AIDS), by conjoining many databases together for a combo analysis of medical related mistakes and errors?

    (5.) To see a measureable difference from the past use of detecting errors, how long will it take, or is there a slag time that takes place first, before any possible new information is derived?

    I’d feel safer if ALL VA medical treatment areas, hospital rooms, intake desks, and any other areas to be a/v recorded (audio/video), for the purpose of protecting the Veteran, VA Staph, Visitors, and Physical Properties.

    I’m hoping you seasoned Vets or you limp wristed trolls can shine some light on my provoking questions (sorry, didn’t mean to be insensitive if you feel that way, meant no harm, its a figure of speech).

    Veterans have a right to be informed of ANY HUGE CHANGES that can and will effect their health care, no matter if positive or negative. And, especially if BIG BROTHER is lurking around, and blowing air on our necks. But then again, what’s this story really about? – – Nutter.

  16. If you’re receiving pain medications from the VA, do yourself a big favor by reviewing the following guidelines. I’ve found many violations per the VA, which usually focuses on the amount of Opioids prescribed, and not the other related areas per prescribing Opioids and Opiates. – – – Nutter.

    “https://www.va.gov/PAINMANAGEMENT/VHA_Pain_Management_Strategy.asp”

    “https://www.va.gov/painmanagement/opioid_safety_initiative_osi.asp”

  17. This is what DVA needs to avoid being busted. It is not doing this to help Veterans as much as to cover its butt

  18. 11/03/2017

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    What happen to Watson? Why did Watson [2011 computer] not suggest this simple thought? Where is Watson? Still thinking? Or did Watson say something that the administration does not want to release; like back in the Reagan administration with the David Stockton?

    As anyone asked what has become of Watson?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  19. manipulation, Fudge, Omit, fake wait lists. I promise to make the VA better ! Seems each week Secretary Shulkin promises to fix the VA. Yesterday I received a letter with my choice card !

    Guess whos name was on the bottom of the letter ? Robert McDonald former VA Secretary.

    Ya they are keeping up with the times.

Comments are closed.