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Place Category: Hospital, Total, Texas, and VISN 16

  • Reviews

    26 Reviews on “Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center – Houston, Texas”

    1. B. Bishop Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      For the most part, my medical care has been very good. As most people have already noted, the parking lot is terrible and even the Valet Parking can be almost an hour wait. I used to go to the Temple TX VA. I lived 137 miles from it, so I allowed myself 2.75 hours for my drive. In Houston, I live 18 miles from the hospital and I have to allow at least 2.25 hours to drive, get parked and get to my appointment.

      I have had a triple heart bypass, plus numerous heart stint placements at the Houston VA, I rate the cardiac care to be above excellent. Way better than the medical care I got at St Luke’s Hospital when I had a second heart surgery. Since December 2012, I have been admitted to a hospital over 40 times. About half of those times was the VA Houston Hospital. Personally, I like the student doctors. They discuss the issues with their team and their teaching doctor. It is like getting a second opinion.

      I do not think the rooms or the room bathrooms are kept clean. The food is the worst hospital food I have ever had. They do not have coffee at the nurses stations, nor can you go off the floor for coffee. When they deliver coffee on the food trays, It is normally luke warm. VA Houston has a policy of no personal items in your room. Most of the time they do not enforce it, but there are other times that the discussions get heated. I prefer using my own shaving kit, versus having to wait over 24 hours before the nurse’s station gets toothbrushes. Shaving cream is given to you in a Styrofoam coffee cup.

      My biggest complaint in the room accommodations for patients. Two patients to a room and two rooms share a bathroom. In 1993, I was diagnosed with PTSD and rated at 100% disabled. I get very antsy when the room mate has a lot of visitors or when they are constantly up and down at night.

      I have bad lungs and usually I am on oxygen. One time, I was admitted to VA Houston for observation because of chest pains. I was there a couple of hours when they brought in another patient. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. Another time I was in a room and had to share the bathroom with the room next door. The other room had a patient who was considered contact precaution, but he was using the same toilet, same sink, same shower as I was. I did not consider that to be good medical practice.

    2. Profile photo of Christina P.Christina P. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      They really need to do something about the parking here. With only one entrance and exit for patient parking it took 25 minutes to get out of the patient lot.

    3. Profile photo of Charles W.Charles W. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      4

      Ok. It was worth the wait. I finally got an appointment in Texas City clinic. It still is a long wait to see the doctor even if you have an appointment. Also, until you know how things are done, You end up spending more time waiting. If you have an appointment, show up early, and take a number. You have to check in for your appointment, and that’s what the number is for. When they call your number, go to the front desk and check in. (If you are 15 minutes late checking in, you loose your appointment, so be there early just in case there are a lot of people checking in). After check in take a seat and wait till they call you by name. If you have an appointment for labs, just go in and wait for them to call your name. No checkin needed (but you might verify that your name is on the clip board list when the lab tech comes out to call a name.) Lab visits go through the door on the left side of the waiting room. Doctor appointments go through the door on the right. Bring a book to read and ignore the bitching from some of the vets. Prescriptions are delivered through the mail. Takes about a week.

      Everyone there, including the door guard are nice and sympathetic to your needs. Remember that they are here to help you. They are very busy.

    4. Profile photo of Kenneth D.Kenneth D. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      Besides being slow, service is normally adequate.

      Be prepared to wait and you won’t be disappointed.

      But where else can you get low cost medical care?

    5. Profile photo of Mario V.Mario V. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      Let me start this by saying I have been to many va hospitals and this place lives up to the low va standards. Be prepared to look for parking. It’s like finding a needle in a hay stack. Also be on time so arrive 30 min early and expect to be seen 20 min late. Don’t expect friendly service from the low level employees. Some are nice but for the most part they act like they are doing you a favor. I’m am so tired of the bad attitudes from these people.

    6. Profile photo of Lynne C.Lynne C. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      5

      Great hospital. Great staff and doctors. Treat veterans with respect. Great medical care. When you walk in from the staff,doctors,nurses until you leave the valet personal. Excellent service. I thank god we moved back to Texas. Very thankful for this VA hospital.

    7. Profile photo of Wendi G.Wendi G. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      My first experience here was really good. I moved back to Houston after an 11 year absence. The first trip was simply to reestablish my eligibility to be treated here. It was quick and simple and I was impressed with the efficiency and sensitivity of the staff as I have some special needs that must be met.

      My second visit did not go so well. I was out of a medicine I require daily and came here to the ER for an emergency refill. It was a disastrous visit that you can read about on my blog. onewearysoldier.blogspot. I left here defeated, humiliated and broken.

      Having said that, the system does work. I complained to the Patient Advocate and she went to work. All my issues have been resolved and I now have a wonderful Primary Care Physician.

      I can’t say enough good things about the Women’s Health Center. It has its’ own entrance so if you are a woman Vet with PTSD due to MST it makes it much easier to enter the hospital. You don’t have to walk through the massive crowds of Veterans milling about in the hallways. The disadvantage is that you can’t valet park to use the WHC entrance and parking by that entrance is difficult to come by. If you draw travel pay or have to get lab work done you still have to leave the comfort of the WHC.

      I left Houston in 2001. Since that time this place has undergone a multimillion dollar upgrade and it shows. Gone are the dirt/gravel parking lots I remember. It looks like a brand new hospital. Nothing is familiar to me. It looks like a first class hospital. Need your mid-day caffeine fix? You’ll find a Starbucks waiting for you in the main lobby. Not the canned stuff though they do sell it but hot and fresh and made to order.

    8. Profile photo of Jordan R.Jordan R. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      4

      Full disclosure: I am a medical/mental health provider here.

      That out of the way. The MEDVAMC is a great place. I’ve worked at other VA’s as well as other nationally ranked hospitals. I hear a lot of complaints here and there, and while I can’t speak to specific experiences, I can say that the treatment and care in the departments that I’ve worked in have been awesome.

      Considering the sorry state of our nation’s medical/mental care system, people have no idea how great the VA actually is. From the emphasis on using empirically supported treatment, to increased emphasis on PTSD and mental health, it’s the best you can get in certain areas. Considering my experience in private/public/VA hospitals, I’ll take working in the VA anytime.

    9. Profile photo of Kenike M.Kenike M. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      Accompanied my Army sister to her scheduled dental appointment on Friday Oct 11th. No trouble with valet parking today. She was seen 15 minutes after we arrived. It’s not all peaches cream mind you, but consideraing that the service is free for most veterans especially those who otherwise would do without. That is the least our country can do for us.

    10. Profile photo of Ai S.Ai S. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      4

      It seems bias if I’d make a review here for obvious reason! Well like any other institutions in the med center parking is a struggle, patience and stressful pursuit so I will advise patients to come at least an hour or two prior their time of appointment. There is valley parking available but it can be traffic at the entrance driveway.

    11. Profile photo of Megan P.Megan P. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      4

      What a massive facility. I have been transferring from the Robert J Dole VA to this one and the size difference is unreal! I can’t say that I really like the parking here all that much but with a facility this size I don’t see any great solution that I would be happy with. At least they have tons of trees to keep your super long walk shaded. 🙂

      For my first visit here to transfer everything I had to go to a couple of different offices. None of the folks seemed to be happy. The lab or “blood collection” gentleman who was checking in both times I needed lab work there was so rude both times that it made me uncomfortable. I wish I knew who to complain to and might look into that once I am done here. He ordered me and the people I saw check in after me like I was in boot camp again. In fact I remember leaving that day wishing I could go back to Kansas with the nice folks. I don’t like it when people are rude just to be rude. BE NICE PEOPLE! You picked your job not me!

      So after trying to get an appointment for 3.5 months I am finally in. The schedulers kept canceling and switching doctors because this one we scheduled you with wasn’t accepting new patients and then that one wont be here on the day we scheduled you. Let me tell you just getting in to get the appointment was ridiculous!

      Now that I have finally had my appointment in the Women’s Clinic I can say I have finally found some nice people at the Houston VA. The reception was cramped but the lady behind the counter greeting quickly with a smile. The wait was rather long but I didn’t mind because I was already there and excited to finally be in. The I met the RN working with my physician and she was again nice and understanding. The RN didn’t rush me through questions and she took me from her office straight to the physician. She looked so young I was a little taken back but her warm smile eased my worries and she proved her competence and training through our appointment. I am sooooooo happy with the Women’s Clinic!

      If people listened to the signs it would have been even more comfortable. It says no thru traffic “Women’s Clinic Patients Only thru this Entrance” but lots of people used it like a revolving door.

    12. Profile photo of Kaleigh K.Kaleigh K. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      Waited 3 hours after the appointment time that we had arrived 30 minutes early to. The staff was not helpful nor were they apologetic. I understand places get busy but 3 hrs of just sitting doing nothing is ridiculous. Veterans deserve MUCH better health care than what is provided here.

    13. Profile photo of Monica A.Monica A. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      Ok, the funniest thing happen on the way to dropping off my parents. My brother was in the hospital and I was going to drop off my parents there to visit him. He was due to be released the same day. The MOMENT the nurses peeped someone was there, they ran in with the discharge papers and we were out of there in 20 minutes, OOOPS visiting time is over…let’s keep it moving people.

      So of course I take my dear brother home, I had no choice. That was the quickest check-out I have ever experienced. It took me longer to park..and I’m serious

    14. Profile photo of Richard S.Richard S. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      2

      The doctors and nurses are very helpful but the way the admin treats the veteran is appalling when you as for items that are necessary to help get you through the day they say they don’t do that here at this va

    15. Profile photo of Tamara F.Tamara F. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      5

      This place needs a duplicate hospital. Too many people but for the most part they are life savers. And I am truly greatful to them for saving my dad.

    16. Profile photo of David M.David M. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      3

      “I give this VA a 3-5 bc it’s specialty Doc’s, RN’s and Tech’s did know there stuff; some treated me with empathy & compassion and some did not. I came down to HVAMC on a referral from another VAMC facility which is much smaller, with all the VET’s they serve in Houston I feel that while things at times were a bit chaotic, most things went pretty smooth, though certainly not seamless, it was above my expectations for the level of care I received, time the team of Doc’s spent with me, ordered the appropriate test, looked at my situation and most importantly, I feel they made an informed diagnosis and recommendation from a pool of compatent specialists in there perspective field (Cardiology). \nThe 3 would have been a 4 or 5 if I hadn’t dealt with the Lab, the guy in there was a total jerk, he thought he was a drill sgt. or something, it was the worst experience I have ever had in any medical facility period ( VA or otherwise). Most everything else (departments & employees) that I encountered was above average if not better than. \nThe cafeteria was decent for a VA and did offer a number of choices that looked good; of course as everywhere there, be prepared for the lines. Most of all, but certainly not least the parking was the most difficult, I did learn to use the valet parking to my advantage my 2nd day (I was there everyday for a week) even though they put a pretty good size door ding in my ride ( new vehicle too). \nI came from 900 miles away for this apt. I did have to fight for travel pay which did come to a fair amount, they didn’t want to let go of that money! All-in-all, I would consider the use of this VAMC again for my care, just have to get over the Lab part, I mean it was really bad the way I and others were treated by a low-level employee who worked the registration desk of the area.”

    17. Profile photo of Brian S.Brian S. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      Have you wondered why so many veterans commit suicide? It is because incompetence is rampant in the VA.

      Anyone who has ever had blood drawn knows it should be a fool proof task. Once the blood is collected the patients information is placed on the sample. But in true VA form, they managed to mix up my sample with another patients.

      Once I went to the emergency room with chest pains because I did not have an appointment with my primary care. After a couple hours and an EKG, I was told to wait for my primary care doctor. I sat in pain and in tears with only a heating pad to numb the pain in plain view of the entire staff. At 1645 (9 hours of waiting) I saw my primary care doctor who informed me I should have an X-ray but I will need to return tomorrow during normal business hours as all the X-ray techs are leaving for the day.

      On another occasion I was taken by ambulance to the VA because I feared I had broken a bone. After multiple hours and unnecessary waiting I was given 5 pain meds and told to wait for my primary care doctor to give the results of the X-ray. Two days latter I was informed nothing was broken. Strange because the civilian doctors who X-ray the following day said you don’t need a medical degree to see the bone is “shattered” and you need surgery.

      If your not aware, doctors in the VA system are not required to be certified by the state like all civilian doctors. It is my belief that the VA scoops up all the med school graduates that are passed over by civilian hospitals. These are likely your barley passed medical school doctors or doctors who were unable to secure respectable residencies. I’m not saying these doctors don’t have the best intentions but if they stick around after their first contract, it’s because they enjoy the 9 to 5.

      Thank you very little VA”

    18. Profile photo of Manny H.Manny H. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      5

      This is my first time at this VA Hospital. The parking is as crazy here like in CT & FL VA hospitals. I was told that they valet park over 1100 cars on a daily basis. At least here they have a system which makes it easier. Easier? Yup, that’s how bad the others are with parking.

      I did find this Hospital much more orderly. Three times I was asked if I was lost by staff members and if I needed directions. They didn’t tell me how to get there but they walked me to where I needed to go.

      My 2 appointments went smoothly. Yes, I was thoroughly impressed.

    19. Profile photo of Doris H.Doris H. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      4

      What can I say about the VA hospital but hurry up and wait it’s a very interesting experience you hear about other people’s lives and what they went through as they served. Thank you for your service

    20. Profile photo of Cynthia F.Cynthia F. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      I first came here 2 years ago, and I had to take a full day PTO to come here bc my visits averaged 6-8 hrs.

      Now that the VA is “revamped” the wait is significantly less, however, that is paid with the utmost rudest staff in every wing.

      Of all the rude staff I’ve had to encounter (anywhere), the ppl at the VA take the cake.

      They treat you like you were born to make their lives miserable.

      The only staff who are pleasant are in the mental health wing.

      If you’re lost, be prepared to be talked to like a moron from the information booth.

      The doctors belittled me as a patient and ignore symptoms (I have joint pain, dr would NOT perform tests and was adamant that every problem I had stemmed from diabetes- which I don’t have).

      They don’t want to accommodate ppl with assisted equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, etc).

      When I filed a complaint, it was just blown off. I filled out paperwork, spoke with the clinic director, still nothing. It’s been 2 months.

      I originally came in for back pain (debilitating, sometimes I can’t walk, difficult for me to switch tasks, and so on).

      I had to FORCE the dr to put in an order for x-rays.

      I had a 7 hour visit that day bc the dr didn’t order the proper labs.

      After all this, I asked for an MRI at least 3 times. The dr stated I have a COMPRESSION on my S1 and says that I’m “fine” it’s just muscular and it’s probably because I’m “way too fat.” *Her exact words* This is AFTER I told her I have shooting pain that runs down my leg.

      These ppl are ridiculous, they all need to be fired for their incompetence and carelessness.

    21. Profile photo of Lou C.Lou C. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      5

      Services at Michael E Debakey VA Medical Center to me is a great lifetime benefit besides other privileges we receive. It is an honor to have a large scale facility in Houston. I get a little emotional when I read ranting reviews by people didn’t fully understand where VA medical centers came from.

      Granted. The parking is not as easy, same as anywhere in the Medical Center area. They have been trying to build a garage for a while. We just have to learn to adopt a different way of getting here. The staff always warns me not to make appointments after 9 am. Getting into the parking lot is impossible, if you come through the main gate 71. It took me awhile to figure out a better way to find parking – enter through gate 70 as known as Almeda entrance or Parking Lot N. Set this coordinates 29.70220, -95.38751 on your GPS and thank me later. Go around the facility to the opposite end of campus as it would save your sanity.

      There is a 15-minutes grace period with doctor’s appointment. As long as you check in at the clinic counter on time, you are good. Appointments are only set by phone only. Oh boy. You need a very good patience dealing with them asking same questions over and over.

      There are 2 types of people working at this VA Medical Center: bean counters and well-trained professionals. You have to go through many lower level workers before being seen by the doctors. It took me 5 visits to get my ID card. Once 4 o’clock hits, they don’t care if you’re in line or not, the counter is closed. That means come back next business day, whenever that might be. Good luck with long weekend.

      One day, I asked a receptionist at a check-in counter for direction, “where is room 304?” A clerk said, “I don’t know. I haven’t logged in yet.” I thought in my head, “never mind, I can read the sign. Sorry to bother you.” Yeah, every room has a number, including bathrooms.

      I have no issues with my doctor and his staff. Oh, the waiting room is very funky. There are 5 clinics and connected by doorways inside, so you can see through from first room to last room. My appointment reminder letter says “Space Room” but room label says Clinic 3. By the way, label for Clinic 5 doesn’t exist, go to Clinic 4. Cell and data signals diminish once you’re inside. There’s free WiFi in the waiting rooms but hard to get on.

      The blood collection lab on the first floor is tricky. If you show up before 9 am, you are likely to be herded like cattle. Take a number and have a seat start from outer side of the wall near the door. You’ll need to move forward as the patients being seen by the phlebotomists. Think of it as a musical chair. It sucks if you have mobility problems. That’s the way they control a long line in a crowded room. Otherwise, the staff is very courteous. Please don’t get mad about how they do business.

      I see everyone comes here have glorious stories behind them, but I haven’t met a soap box. The staff are always respecting their patients. I don’t see any Asians in here, except for medical staff.

      The tax-free gift shop is called PatriotStore or VCS (vacanteen.va.gov). There are attractive sales promotions monthly. I’m waiting for its eCommerce to start so I can buy them online. The cafeteria PatriotCafe has plenty of seating and always busy during breakfast and lunchtime. There are choices of hot meals, sandwich maker at lunch, cold salads, hot beverages and other healthy stuff. There are few gift and crafts vendors outside of cafeteria in the corridor.

      There are 3 sets of color-coded elevators: Red, Green and Blue. The highest floor is 6th floor, but only Blue elevator takes you there. It’s about a half mile from one end of building to the other. There are few open-air atria the building for gardens to look out, basketball court and picnic area for the staff.

      Being able to use this facility is a privilege, not a right. This is a government facility. Everything is going by the books, just like in the military.

    22. Profile photo of Larry E.Larry E. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      5

      We have been coming here for many years. Parking is crazy but we schedule appointments long ahead during off hours to use the free valet parking. I can’t say enough about the wonderful doctors, staff, and patients! The key here is to plan ahead. Parking is crazy, but there are 2, not just 1, free valet parking areas. Get on the website before you come to see if there has been any changes as it is always undergoing change. Note that when security levels jump up due to threats, or the crazy world we have now, inner routes can change. Come plenty early, and drop by their Patriot Cafe.

      Volunteers are around for those having a bit of difficulty and some of those volunteers are even patients!

    23. Profile photo of GregGreg Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      And if you live out of state or have to travel, you have to fight to get paid travel pay as well. They constantly lose your information or misplace it, wait times are horrendous.

    24. Profile photo of CHRISTINA DANIELLE ThundathilCHRISTINA DANIELLE Thundathil Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      1

      There is a neurologist there named Dr. Chen. Beware of him; he lies. He also admits to deleting raw data on EEG’s to make his diagnosis fit. He wrote at the urging of OKC VA Medical center to say that because I was raped that I was faking; he wrote in medical records that I did have sharp spikes but that for him it was not important because I was raped. If you ask for your medical records, we won’t give them to you; but gives “baseline” so he can edit the raw data. This might not be important to some now but 3 years later, because of this man OKC VA would not help me. In a letter from another PA in OKC VA Medical Center they used what he did to deny me help when the EEG pattern changed. That same EEG pattern was seen here in Lake Nona, the MRI in Lake Nona showed lesions in my brain stem; OKC VA Medical Center denied me MRI because of Dr. Chen. I will do the sleep study but decline all treatment and tests because of this man and OKC VA. They should have not lied, and deleted my data. I trusted them and they failed me, just like CID, and the Army, SCREW THEM!

    25. Profile photo of Adrienne EspositoAdrienne Esposito Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
      Overall Rating:
      2

      Typical appointment juggling as seen in other VA Hospitals. Appointments are cancelled without being rescheduled by the clinic. Lack of oversight in the Pharmacy. There is a pharmacy tech who will outright pretend to be the pharmacist to tell you why you cannot get your medications and lie about when/how you reordered them. Medication review information is poor to none. Physician Assistants are called Doctor. PAs often lack oversight as required by law– a doctor is assigned but not present. The use of student doctors as first line reviewing and meeting with patients means that when they relay information, they are doing so without a full understanding of the issues of former military such as environmental exposure. The ER is always a 3-4 hour wait, regardless of how many veterans are in the waiting room. Even though there were open ER bays, I was left in a walkway for 3 hours waiting for a pregnancy test before they would treat men. I had a hysterectomy over 10 years prior. They never asked and claimed it was not in my records even though the Women’s clinic was given that information. It is hard to understand the propensity of foreign-born doctors and nurses with heavy accents leading to incorrect medical information. There are clinics that discourage veterans from their services by manipulating wait times and appointment times, if you can even get a referral. They neglect to list diagnoses that have been proven and/or downplay the impact of a disease process on daily life.

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