NASA to analyze VA errors

NASA will begin operating a system today for recording and analyzing medical

errors and "close calls" for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA Patient Safety Reporting System will be modeled after the NASA-administered

Aviation Safety Reporting System, according to a NASA statement.

The aviation system, which is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration

and operated under an agreement between the two agencies, collects and analyzes

voluntarily submitted reports and is designed to reduce the likelihood of

aviation accidents.

The NASA/VA agreement, which will be signed by Henry McDonald, director

of NASA's Ames Research Center, and Thomas Garthwaite, acting undersecretary

for health at the VA, paves the way for development of the voluntary patient

safety reporting system.

The VA operates 172 medical centers that treated more than 3.3 million patients

in 1999.

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