The U.S. Government Accountability Office says inaccurate medical records and noncompliance are thwarting efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.
A review of records of 30 patients who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and were treated at six Veterans Affairs medical centers found that almost all had received care that deviated from the VA’s own clinical-practice guidelines. The GAO also found that the VA was not properly documenting the diagnosis of many patients because of a software mapping error. The VA said the suicide rate had stabilized but had not dropped after prevention efforts were implemented. It’s estimated that 22 veterans die by suicide each day.