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Walter Reed statement: Washington Post article is a lie

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We've just received a copy of a letter sent by the general running Walter Reed to the entire staf. He needs to be fired, now.

To the Staff of WRAMC from MG Weightman
This letter is to address the issues that were raised in the Washington Post articles this weekend concerning the treatment of patients at WRAMC, specifically their outpatient care and administration. First and foremost, I want to assure all of the staff that I do not believe that there is the "other" Walter Reed. I firmly believe that we deliver the same level of world class healthcare to all of our patients and their families, regardless of whether they are inpatients or outpatients. I see that same level of competence and compassion regardless of what clinic or ward that I visit. I see you taking the same pride and honor in caring for our Nation's sons and daughters day in and day out. We have treated over 6000 OIF/OEF patients at WRAMC since 2002 and the vast majority of them are delighted with our care. We get a lot of visitors daily at WRAMC and they have numerous interactions with our patients and families. They have many opportunities to express both their satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and therefore I feel confident that we, as a staff, have both accurate and frequent feedback from our patients which is overwhelmingly positive. Because of this, I do not believe it is accurate to portray our outpatient population as being "invisible" to the public.

Information for this article was covertly obtained over more than 2 years by reporters who did not wish to bring their findings to the leadership for action. Many of the issues that were raised in the articles have been resolved or mitigated. A survey of outpatients done in our Brigade last month showed that only 2.6% of them expressed dissatisfaction with the administrative aspect of their care; certainly not the picture painted by the recent articles. We have numerous forums to obtain feedback from all of our patients and their family members because it is important for us to know, at all times, how our customers perceive their treatment. They are the reason we exist; their care and satisfaction must remain our highest priorities.

Having said that, I believe that the WP articles give us an opportunity to improve in many areas and I challenge all of you to help me fix both clinical and administrative areas that are not meeting the expectations of either our patients or their family members. We must be especially sensitive to their needs and actively seek their worries and concerns. We must never be accused of being complacent and resting on our well deserved reputation for being the crown jewel of the military health system. Our reputation must be earned every day with each and every patient. Over the next month, we will have numerous visitors who will be inquiring into the issues raised by the WP articles. I encourage all staff to be proactive and engage these visitors when approached. Tell them of the many wonderful things that you do, but do not shrink from admitting where we can be better and telling them what we are doing to get better. It is only through this process of constant self evaluation and challenge that we will be able to meet the needs of our patients.

Thanks to all of you for the dedication, compassion and professionalism that you bring to work every day. We will emerge from this most recent challenge a stronger and better medical center that can take pride in the care it gives to all of our patients.

Warrior Care!
Heckuva job, Brownie.

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