Veterans Affairs Boston Risk Mitigation Study
On Valentine’s Day 2016, frozen pipes burst on the 14th floor of the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center. Flooding migrated down several floors, severely damaging a large section of the facility, disrupting patient services, and causing a temporary closure. The incident prompted the facility staff to commission a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and risk mitigation study for all three major VA Boston Healthcare System medical campuses to identify other potential physical plant vulnerabilities.
The study assessed over 2 million square feet of physical plant space within the VA Boston Healthcare System. The study focused on critical systems that could pose a safety risk for patients, visitors, and staff in a failed or compromised state. The study provided a framework for capital improvements, security and infrastructure upgrades, and mitigation recommendations to ensure efficient and safe facilities aligned with evolving healthcare standards, building codes, and VA design manuals. SMRT developed a risk matrix to identify deficiencies, consequences, probability of occurrence, and recommendations for mitigation. Cost estimates were produced, providing a framework for a comprehensive capital plan. The VA Boston Healthcare System can plan and budget for corrective actions to make its facilities more resilient, compliant, system redundant, efficient, and capable of supporting its healthcare mission.