Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS)
The VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) consists of two Maryland VA Medical Centers, located at Baltimore and Perry Point, and an independent Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center on the Loch Raven campus located in Baltimore City. The VAMHCS also has five Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs): Fort Howard, serving Southeast Baltimore County; Cambridge, serving the Maryland Eastern Shore counties; Glen Burnie, serving Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties; Loch Raven campus, serving North Baltimore County; and Pocomoke, serving the extreme southern tip of Maryland. Also, an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic is operational at the Maryland Homeless Veterans, Inc., in Baltimore City.
The VAMHCS contains a fully computerized patient information system and a highly advanced electronic medical record. Terminals in all inpatient team rooms and outpatient exam rooms allow for ease of patient care and reduced non-productive time for students. The information system allows instantaneous clinical queries for clinical research and continuous improvement in patient care. Major increases in support staff assigned to house staff teams has resulted in decreased monotonous work for students and residents, as support staff is more frequently available for routine phlebotomy, intravenous line adjustments, escort services and clerical support services.
A major reconfiguration of nursing and support staff, combined with computer-designed programs, has increased the efficiency of the medical care so that students, house staff and faculty can better spend their time on direct rather than indirect patient care, and on stimulating educational and clinical research areas rather than on cumbersome support delivery problems. The Bar Coded Medication Administration system is a state-of-the-art example of the VAMHCS focus on patient safety and quality care. This system, along with the Physician Computer Order Entry feature of the computerized medical record, serves as a national model in the area of patient safety with respect to decreasing medication errors.
In the disciplines of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, neurology, anesthesiology, pathology, radiology, rehabilitation medicine, geriatrics and ambulatory care, there is close integration of the faculty, resident and undergraduate levels of the School of Medicine. More than 140 investigators have funded research programs in areas including infectious disease, geriatrics, exercise physiology, immunology, neurology, oncology and schizophrenia. For the past five years, the VAMHCS has been among the top 10 facilities in research funding in the nation.