The Veterans Affairs Department has found that fewer than 600 patients in Massachusetts were waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them compared with more than 57,000 patients nationwide.

The audit released Monday also found the VA's Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System had one of the top 10 longest wait times at 67 days for new patients trying to see a specialist.

For new primary care patients, the audit found the average wait in the Central Western system was 72 days, compared with 59 days at the VA's Boston location and 12 days at the Bedford facility.

The department said its audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics found the agency's complicated appointment process created confusion among scheduling clerks and supervisors.

The nationwide look at the VA network has found that the Providence VA Medical Center has one of the longest average wait times for patients seeking their first primary care appointment.

Audit results released Monday show the average wait time for a primary care appointment for new patients at the Providence VA was about 74 days. Only seven facilities nationwide had longer average waits.

The Providence VA Medical Center includes an outpatient clinic in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Leslie Pierson, spokeswoman for the Providence VA, said the average wait time is high because there was "a sharp increase in new patients seeking care" at the Hyannis clinic and some of the staff there retired. She said the VA is adding a primary care team in Hyannis and Providence.