The card contains a computer chip which allows the bearer access to the VA computer system, most notably patient electronic medical records. A few months ago, the computer chip in my ID card malfunctioned - way before its renewal date. I thought it should be no big deal to get it replaced. Yeah right.
Not only did I have to get fingerprinted again and wait several days for them to be processed, making it extremely difficult to actually treat patients in the interim, but they also required me to produce two forms of picture identification.
And we know how bureaucracies treat whistleblowers, so everybody shuts up and goes about their business doing their best to get around the double bind they are all in.
To get patients seen in a timely fashion, you would think that the place would, at the very least, be very quick about putting in the appointment system the times when various doctors are available in their clinics to see and treat patients. Again you would be wrong. Whole clinic days of mine would disappear from my upcoming January schedule in the computer for an upcoming new year, and it would take two or three months of me complaining about it for the clinic times to reappear. I could not schedule anyone!
I finally found out why it took so long. At least this is what I was told: There was just one person doing this job. Not one person for a few clinics. One person for the whole humongous medical center! 539 provider schedules, give or take.
Furthermore, the hospital had what they called a "patient advocate's" office, where vets could complain about problems they were having getting seen. The patient advocate was usually very effective at getting them in.
If the patients described in the news media who died before they got in for an appointment were that sick, maybe they should have not just followed the instructions of the schedulers about how soon to come it. "I vas only following orderz" is not a good excuse.