Magic 8 Ball VA Suicide Prediction

Veterans Affairs Launches New Suicide Prediction Tool

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.”


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  1. This suicide prediction stuff scares the hell out of me. The VA DBC’s violence prediction (PRF) program is already in place for about 13 years and is dangerous and totally violates veteran rights, via zero “due process”.

    I was reasonably happy with my VA provider care up until I caught (via reading my VA medical records) a secret diagnosis for alcoholism that was wrong and done unprofessionally. The VA agreed with my complaint 3 months later, but that didn’t stop the DBC from flagging me.

    I hadn’t been in the hospital for PTSD for 6 years, and was was traveling to many foreign countries. After flagging, I quickly became suicidal, to the point of being hospitalized 4 to 7 times a year. My most deadly attempts were mocked and laughed at by the VA. The one where I spent almost a week in ICU, VA’s primary response was to arrest me, but not charge me. VA also didn’t put a “high suicide risk” flag on the worst attempts like this one, only the lower ones; strange. Suicide a high priority: ha!!! I laugh. It’s the opposite.

  2. Yet another breach of the contract that the VA is legally obligated to uphold with Veterans. Easier to shuffle MEANINGLESS and flat out ABSURD as well as invasive paperwork rather than do something proactive like ACTUALLY PROVIDING THE SERVICES THAT THE VA IS OBLIGATED BY STATUTE TO PROVIDE!
    How many chronic pain victims will they TORTURE before they get their heads out of the DEA’s ASS? How many PSYCHIATRISTS will they add that ALL the “treatment” they WILL do is refer you to some form of incarceration for your own good or pop more pills. Pills that may have side effects both KNOWN and yet to become statistically significant for YEARS rather that do something such as PROVIDE THE SERVICES THAT THE VA IS OBLIGATED BY STATUTE to Provide? And the beat goes on… Oh, while we are at it, WTF was a SHRINK at Tomaha(?) doing handing out NARCOTICS in the first place? Other than giving the DEA a fig leaf to hide the governments intention to force all “Chronic Pain Patients” Veteran and civilian alike either to suicide or into the ILLEGAL BLACK MARKET where they can push up the statistics justifying the existence of the DEA AND as a REDPublican Legislator ACTUALLY WENT ON RECORD AS SAYING will remove DISABLED AMERICANS from making demands on AMERICAN RESOURCES…

  3. Isn’t it strange, that the DVA is coming up with such a stupid idea, when they are the cause for a majority of suicides?!
    If these deadbeats would get their collective shit together and resolve claims within a reasonable time, a lot of these suicides wouldn’t be committed.
    But NOOOOO…these assholes want to give the impression that they “Care for the Veteran!”.

    No they don’t! I’m a victim of Medical Malpractice. The same scumbag dr. LIED about my condition after the surgery .
    No they don’t! My claim is over 14 yrs old.
    No they don’t! If so, then why were they caught destroying documents?
    No they don’t! If they did, then why do you have to hire an atty to handle your claim?

    Most of they unqualified doctors are the cause of the delay, with their false and misleading dx.

    BE VERY AWARE, of the C&P examiner ordered to render a Dx of your Orthopedic and/or Neurological condition(s) and they examiner does not have the specialty to do so!!!

    A BVA Judge ORDERED that I receive a C&P by an ORTHOPEDIC Dr. and the VARO scheduled me for a C&P with a “General Practitioner”!
    The last was an Internal Med Dr.!?

  4. Great posts, and I admit right now that I have not read all of them. Maybe what I’m about to say has been said, but if not I have a contribution to make.

    My record was flagged – got pushy about my care that was killing me – and I can only guess that’ll be a ‘flag’ to the ‘tool’. I also believe that this ‘tool’ will be used adversarially against us, and we’ll be back to the incompetence scenario where we can’t own guns. I also see the ‘tool’ as laziness, as in the ‘tool’ will be used to filter out the bad apples. Of course, it’s not like the PCP’s are well trained, nor do they have time to pay attention to the person in front of them.

    I see this ‘tool’ as nothing more than a deflection from fixing what’s wrong…incompetent doctors/nurses/staff. The VA, thanks to the union, has turned into another useless organization full of unacceptability and those that are looking to retirement.

  5. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: I will see you guys tomorrow, not feeling up to par tonight. Hope you guys sleep well.

  6. Did any of this plan come from Veterans, other than graduates of West point or…. I just can’t get this. We know the VA isn’t ashamed nor empathetic to loss of Veterans lives. Does anyone, I’m talking VA, and Vets, actually have a Dr. /client relations? I haven’t met my psychiatrist in 8months. The kid and I don’t talk, so, who and how are they going to know? ALTERNATIVE MOTIVE, hidden agenda, I think our paranoid vet has introduced a whole paranoia to me. Off on target, Jared K, owns a building in New York, where they are making this RFID chip. He’s been put on deck for something. It smells like a con job. Did Jared come up with this? Could Daddy be hanging this kid out to dry? Just don’t get this. Watch your back…

  7. @ANutterVet, on #14. depends on sop at va medical centers and state laws concerning involuntary inpatient admissions. Dependent on imminent danger of oneself or others. Failed attempts, there is a lot of factors. I do not believe that this predictive analysis tool the va is using is lawful.

    It would surprise me if they are not violating human or civil rights. If they are predicting something you may do and have not done it how can that be lawful? You are not guilty of a crime unless you do it. This is so freaking bizarre to have a computer place someone on a suicidal watch list or involuntary admission for a data analysis. Who says the data is correct that has been submitted on the Veterans record?

    A lot of mental disorders have suicidal ideation as part of the disorder. How does a computer determine that analysis prediction if it is part of the disorder. You can have severe, moderate and mild symptoms of a disorder.

    Some of these younger Veterans being discharged out are so traumatized they cannot understand fully their symptoms and a computer program is going to be able to analyze them??

    1. In the book and made into movie, “Minority Report”, they called it “Pre Crime”. *Pre Suicide*…who’s keeping track?

      The LAST THING a Vet wants to have to be worried or paranoid about is the VA being even more intrusive.

      For instance: Would this REACH farm data from such social media and internet sites such as Benjamin’s Blog here? If so, would the Pre Suicidal PING be generated every time “cj” makes some of his visual art that looks like a tank? PING+++
      Every time I exclaim RAT BASTARDS, will I get PINGED?

      I’m thinking this IS a Human Rights violation done in guise of suicide prevention because if these RAT BASTARD Psych HACKS knew what they were doing in first place an app would not even be needed and furthermore, wouldn’t also logically make sense that the AFGE Union would raise their voices and cry FOUL because a computer was doing the job of one of their hacks?

      I do not hear the AFGE Union Pres. D. little Cox threatening VA Sec. Shulkin to stand down so the AFGE must also be in support of this?

      Really sorry for rant but this article today has bugged the SHIT out of me.

      If I were forced to do FACETIME with a VA Psych Hack I would make sure to show them my “log entry” in my porcelain bowl as it’s being formed from my brown-eye camera. 🙂

      1. @namnibor, this article has really bothered me as well. You are correct what data will be looked at? Could our social media be considered interaction with the public? They could have the right to see who posts on these blogs.

        Here is an example of a problem a computer cannot analyze “Like i went to a party and it really bombed”. A computer would see the word bombed and consider it somehow a threat. Not in the context it was meant. A computer cannot differentiate between a joke or reality.

        The va is too big of an agency to be not held to any accountability and i could see this latest “new” technology being manipulated to their advantage. I think you are right “minority report” is a good example of what they are trying to do.

        It is about controlling Veterans and i could see admission of involuntary inpatients on a psych ward as trying to punish Veterans. No one seems to be objecting to this technology or the use of it.

  8. The following are some questions that has not been answered pertaining to the VA Physician being pinged by REACH, then the Physician contacting the Veteran in suicidal crisis. Questions aren’t in a particular sequence.

    [1.] How is it, that not one Veteran has posted a positive comment about the VA’s REACH software application, since it was supposedly designed to help save the lives of Veterans from committing suicide?

    [2.] Before the VA implements the designing of a prototype of a program or software to supposedly help to save the lives of Veterans, why doesn’t the VA ping Veterans to find out how the program or software would be accepted in the Veteran community?

    [3.] What type of data did the VA use to determine that the VA needed to create a software application such as REACH, to help detect and deter the suicides of Veterans?

    [4.] Who has the final decision in giving the following command, “Thou now create a pinging software,” to help deter, stop, or to intervene of a Veteran who is considering, planning, or in the process of committing suicide?

    [5.] Who determines the criteria of such a software program, and how is the baseline figured out in order to determine if the REACH application is effective in the warning protocols to pinpoint the Veteran that is in crisis mode, or a Veteran that can eventually be in a crisis mode in the near future?

    [6.] What happens when a Veteran’s direct Primary Care Physician or Behavioral Health Professional, goes on sabbatical, leave, or vacation when REACH calculates that it will ping the Veterans health care provider?

    [7.] What type of glitches can be expected from a software application like REACH?

    [8.] Where does that VA get the information of what words, phrases, or repetitive communications that activates REACH to start pinging the Veterans direct or secondary VA Physicians?

    [9.] Is there a time frame that the VA has set, in which when REACH detects a problem, that determines when the Veterans Physicians should be contacted?

    [10.] How well are the Physicians trained to handle the multitude of responses that a Veteran may lash out with when a VA Physician contacts the Veteran?

    [11.] What are the levels of emergency when REACH detects that a Veteran maybe contemplating suicide? Like Code X, Y, or Z, or Level 1, 2, or 3.

    [12.] After a Veteran is contacted by a VA Physician, what steps does the VA Physician proceed in implementing when a Veteran is indeed in crisis mode and is considering suicide?

    [13.] For critical cases of Veterans who are at the epitome of finalizing an exit from life, does the VA have a Rapid Response Team [RRT] that immediately is dispatched to the Veteran?

    [14.] What happens when a Veteran refuses help from a VA Medical Provider when the Provider calls a Veteran in crisis, and the VA Physician has determined that the Veteran is indeed going to commit suicide?

    You know, you’d think that the VA would visit blogs, forums, or websites like Bens, to present projects like REACH to Veterans, in order to get some sort of baseline of how REACH would be accepted in the Veteran community. I wrote down the above questions in less that 10 minutes.

    Do you think it would be a good idea if the VA would ask Veterans how a new process or program would be accepted? It sure seems like that the VA could possibly save some money or tweak up a program before it is used in the VA Healthcare System. Would anyone like to chime in and give their feedback on this issue?

    1. It would be a GREAT IDEA for the VA to do as you stated. Better yet, if the BIG Piggy VSO’s were doing their duties to assist, the piggies would be the very first test subjects on the predictive *PING* lists.

      I personally do not want the VA to have any access to my phone or apps or my brain for that matter.

      1. The VA quickly forgets any sourness from Vets on such things as the FLOW Health debacle then unleashes another experiment.

        Anyone notice how QUICKLY the Washington D.C. VAMC Scandal was DROPPED from most news feeds after yesterday? Replaced with a man being dragged off a United Flight.

        Maybe we Vets do need to just go down dragging…you know, to get American’s attention span for longer than -1- 8 hour shift of news feeds?!!
        I’m betting the VA’s Public Affairs wiped that from news feeds or Jerod Kushner. 🙂

    2. ANutterVet, my responses are below.

      1. Zero trust in the VA by a large number of vets.
      2. When does the VA ask any average vet about a scheme they are implementing? They wouldn’t like the answers.
      3. The suicide rate among veterans staying at 20-22 per day no matter how much money the VA threw at it. That, and the need to create some program that could be blamed rather than looking at the root causes and holding someone accountable. The real serious question here is why so many clinics are missing these clues that they think they need a machine to detect them?
      4. VACO.
      5. The software was tested using volunteers, which in my opinion is an incredibly small sample. Over the years of looking at any veterans medical research, the VA willingly picks and chooses which research sample size suits their purposes. Research showing a clear connection between Burn Pits and cancer with a sample size of 10000 is discarded by the VA as too small, while other research the VA chooses showing Burn Pits and no cancer with a sample size of 500 is accepted.

      This was a program they wanted in order to have something to blame, and to avoid holding anyone accountable, so sample size and thoroughness of testing is irrelevant to them.
      6. If a vet falls through the cracks, they will point at the software to blame. That way accountability is avoided.
      7. See #6. Other problems will be not enough data. Overcompensation for not enough data. False pings. Suicide rate stays the same.
      8. Research. Of a sample size too small to be accurate.
      9. This should be spelled out in VA policy which Ben should FOIA.
      10. Mental health maybe, but the advertising for this says PCPs will also be pinged, which ranges from Nurse Practioners to barely functioning doctors who will not be trained, so SWAT will be called.
      11. All likely will be considered Level 1. They will have to generate what is needed to claim the system works. News of just 1 veteran committing suicide after the VA was pinged would be embarrassing to the VA.
      12. One would think this would be spelled out in VA policy, but I bet it comes down to the discretion of each provider pinged.
      13. Some have crisis teams. Who knows what that means since they are not advertised and availability is unknown…but it sounds good when you say it to the media.
      14. SWAT.

  9. @ThisVet2017: I think your on to something there. AFGE/SES, needs 1000 new misfortune tellers. 100 new misfortune cookie bakers. and 50 misforune cookie stuffers.

    1. @cj – What about the dam inspectors for QC purposes? I don’t like rework, and I know you don’t, but the VA will gladly pay for rework, over, and over, and over again.

  10. Get real people. If your MMPI doesn’t give a read of “somatic concern” or if you have never had bouts of deep depression, taking a med that has a high incidence of suicide you are not going to be pinged. So cut the bull shit.

  11. Outstanding!!!

    First, launch a website to track which veterans are complaining about his/her care at VA facilities (I don’t know, something like ””)….

    Two, start looking through the medical files of those pesky vets….and,

    Three, threaten to lock them up in a psych ward, medicate them – anything to silence them under this ‘suicide prevention tool’.

    Press releases show that retaliation against anyone (i.e. whistleblowers) who go against the VA “somehow” involve VA employees coming out of the wood works and writing statements on how “threatened” they feel, how they think this whistleblower and vet has possible PTSD, etc. I’m going through that right now. The VA is using these fabricated statements to discredit and remove me. I believe the VA is the last entity who should be given authority to determine who is a suicide risk.

    I sat there at that Public Contact area and saw a clerk call the guards on a couple – who’s child was acting like a “child”. The guards forced the people out of the building like they were criminals when all the clerk had to do was ask the couple to take the child outside and/or to the canteen to run around because it was disturbing people in the waiting room. I heard a disgruntled dependent of a vet get yelled at and also removed by security because VA employees got into an ‘I am a VA employee, you’re not, so go away’ argument (literally). No way should VA employees be allowed to make a determination if a veteran is a risk to him/herself and/or anyone else.

    If I’m correct, weren’t the problems with the suicide hotline that no one was answer the phone lines in time or at all? If I’m also correct, weren’t the problems with suicide rates due to veterans on these ‘phantom’ wait lists for treatment? I don’t know, maybe I’m not as smart as all those SES folks, but maybe, just maybe putting more/better staffing on the phone lines and getting rid of those phantom lists would be a proper solution instead of recruiting “fortune tellers” – to prevent veterans’ suicides?

    1. They gotta get a judge to sign off on keeping you more than 3 days and that means members of your family or your neighbors are afraid you will or even turn your gun on them.

    2. @ThisVet2017, i think you have a good understanding into va operations. Your assumptions are correct.

  12. Follw up appointment with VA pcp.
    pcp: “um are you going to be nice now?”
    me: “um, piss off limp dicked fucktard”
    pcp: “um, why are you always so angry?”
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

  13. Next conversation I have with VA pcp:
    pcp:”Um our program say you are suicidal”
    me: “Um and I say your a fucking retard”
    pcp: “you shouldn’t use language like that”
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

  14. My phone will ring. 5 months in one stretch followed by 3 additional admissions on suicide watch. But I see it as a good thing. At least I hope that it included organic brain syndromes that result in “anosognosia.” Imagine a demon sabotaging your work efforts and you can’t understand why something you were sure was done well turns out to be a piece of shit.

    If you don’t know who or what the demon is the only way to get rid of the demon is…. a final exit.

  15. Sugar Bear did come unhinged when he seen Mama June at a gathering. Sick pup. Is that what you call being pinged in your thoughts?

    1. @ANutterVet- If being ~*PINGED*~ by the VA jogs mental imagery of “Mama June”, I may take a dull pice of plastic cutlery and try to scrape my brain out to make it stop! 🙂

      (I do not watch so-called ‘reality tv’, but am current enough to know she could easily be a VA nurse or VA weight management instructor…purple team. (barf)

      1. @Namnibor – I don’t watch the shit either, the Nightly News showed Sugar Bear being pissed off. She does remind one of all female VA employees that are unscrewed, therefore we’re screwed.

    2. @ANutterVet: Read it going down. It says, off u self predictor suppository, and it is going into the asshole we all know as the VA.

      1. @cj – That’s awfully nice of you. Make it painful and non-resisting for them. Do you make get well cards? Yeah, give em a double finger cj. The newbies on Bens blog haven’t seen it yet.

      2. @ANutterVet: The double is yours only. So as you requested here goes. This is for every new nonsensical bs the VA want’s to unleash on veterans.Hey…VA…. this is for you:
        The double ColdFinger proctologist award:
        ..\…………….. /……..\………………/

  16. WTF! They can’t even give you a good read on when they can get you in to see a Dr. Now they are going to get all “Minority Report” on veterans. More bullshit for certain…I wonder who got paid!


  17. If a Veteran refused to join the “Million Vet whatever”, has the VA ever taken DNA samples without informing Veterans? I was told that the ‘program ‘ did take a sample for DNA testing to incorporate in their ‘study’ yet since I refused did the VA ever do it without informing me? I’ve used FOIA before and documented their refusals , but since I’m a bit ‘paranoid’ I don’t trust the VA in all matters. I was exposed to all the Herbicide Agents in Vietnam while I was in the AMERICAL out of ChuLai and points north and probably in Korea. I’ve ended up with a multitude of physical impairments. Those of us in I Corps also had to take Dapsone as part of a Drug Study, in addition to the weekly “chloroprimaquine,s.p.”. It was supposed to reduce ‘Falsipramum, s.p.’ malaria, but it’s also carcinogenic. No followups have ever been done, so what are the impacts of it 46 years later?

    1. Gary, did they ever put you in the Glaxo Gabitril study? That permanently fried my brother’s inventor’s brain. They put lots of Vietnam vets with PTSD on that garbage.

  18. Could this new analytic tool be used to set us all up for a premptive strike for the disruptive committe?

    Kinda like the yhought police?

    I know sounds paranoid but look at the people we are going up against.

    1. Bingo!

      IBM Watson has even named the app “ORWELL_1984”, with inner-app purchase options for “Thought Police”, “Thought Crimes”, and indeed, the speculated DBC preemptive strike.

      I do not think these are unreasonable fears considering the type of monster we are dealing with.

      I guess the VA is never getting my new cell#. After identity theft last year and the way the world has become, no way am I availing myself and even more data to peering and sneering eyes of the VA.

  19. Dregs, a fitting tribute to the………VA. They are all dregs. I cannot, see any way this could work. Perhaps if the VA would take responsibility for not calling a recently deceased suicide victim, and would be accountable. Why don’t we begin with ACCOUNTABILITY. Let ya know if I get a call..

  20. ….V.A.

    1. @cj – I didn’t learn this code, or maybe I did, and my current thoughts are pinging here to fro, therefore causing distortion from me in completing the instruction(s) [a glitch in memory recall or thought process]. Help me, please help me. Can you hear me?

  21. Ron with all due respect….they could fire every swinging dick who invents acronyms and the only thing we would notice is a lack of acronyms. Acronyms used in the military usually wound up killing or disabling us. Acronyms used by the VA have the same effect.

    My favorite one which is used by most VA employees every second of every day which of course is GAF


    The software will then ping the veteran’s doctor or mental health provider to have them call the veteran to check in. . . . . .

    The VA is really pushing things with this lame brained violation of veterans rights.

    If any veteran “falls” for this so called master plan then it is their fault for letting it happen.

    The VA can “ping” all they want, to whom they want – just don’t let my phone “ring.”

    40+ years of living with my PTSD and doing quite well, there is no way I will allow some software program tell anybody otherwise.

    VA, you have opened the door with this terrible idea ~ now, let’s see just how far you want to walk in.

  23. Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET).

    Fantastic acronym! I’m pretty sure the science is bogus, but someone should get a huge bonus for creating that acronym.

  24. 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.

  25. 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……

  26. 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 ………

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. @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?

    1. 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.

    2. @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.

      1. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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…

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

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

    Thanks for bringing it back.

  34. Here is information the who, what, when, cost on how this came to be:

    1. 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?

      1. 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?

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

  35. 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.
    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.

  36. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. “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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

    1. “[…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.

      1. 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.

  39. 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.

    1. 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?

  40. 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.

  41. 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)

      1. 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)

      2. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. Check this shit out from “ News”! In my opinion, just more B/S from VA.

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

    12 April 2017
    “” | by Richard Sisk

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

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

      More garbage in, garbage out.

  44. 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?

    1. 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?

      1. @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?

    2. 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.

  45. 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?

    1. @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.

      1. @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.

  46. “[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? 🙂

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

    2. 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?

    3. 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.

    4. 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….

  47. 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”.
    Your friendly neighborhood Corpsman

  48. 04/13/2017

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    After a year(s) of thinking —this is what Watson came up with?
    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 ……/
    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.


    Don Karg

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