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Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

News Release - New Orleans VA opens Ambulatory Procedure Unit

 Department of Veteran's Affairs Logo 

 News Release


For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Collins

June 6, 2011

(504) 565-4988

karen.collins2@va.gov

VA opens new Ambulatory Procedure Unit

NEW ORLEANS — The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System opened its new Ambulatory Procedure Unit (APU) today at 2237 Poydras St., restoring the VA’s ability to perform in-house, same-day surgery services for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.  The APU allows SLVHCS to again perform many minor surgical procedures requiring a less than 24-hour stay that had been previously outsourced to other local hospitals.

The APU will cut down on the amount of time and coordination it takes to provide care for our patients,” said SLVHCS Acting Director Jimmy Murphy. “Having the ability to again offer theseservices from VA doctors in VA facilities will significantly improve the continuity and quality of our services and can ensure that all procedures and medications are entered into the Veteran’s permanent medical record in an efficient and timely manner. This is also the most cost effective way to deliver this care.”

After the VA hospital closed, outsourcing became necessary on a much larger scale to ensure Veterans had continued access to the care they’d earned during their service to our nation.In the 2010 fiscal year alone, SLVHCS spent over $86 million on purchased care. Offering these APU services within the VA network will save millions of tax dollars annually.

The APU has three operating rooms, two invasive procedure units (with a total of four procedure rooms) and one recovery room with six beds. At the APU, the VA will offer surgical procedures that can be performed in under 90 minutes, require no blood transfusions and less than a 24-hour stay. There will be approximately 110 employees working at the site, including laboratory, surgery, pharmacy, housekeeping and police personnel.

Veterans are encouraged to get information about all SLVHCS services and clinics on the local website at  www.neworleans.va.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VANewOrleans or via Twitter at  www.twitter.com/vaneworleans

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