Quality of Services Has Improved Among VA Medical Centers

September 19, 2018

According to recent data released by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), significant improvements at a majority of its health care facilities have been reported through a web-based report scorecard that evaluates and benchmarks quality and efficiency.

The VA’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) report is released quarterly and has been released publicly since 2015. The report assesses 25 quality metrics and two efficiency and productivity metrics in areas including death rate, complications and patient satisfaction, as well as overall efficiency and physician capacity at 146 VA Medical Centers (VAMC).

The VA compared the July 2018 SAIL report with the same period last year and found that 103 (71%) VAMCs have improved in overall quality. According to the agency, the largest gains were seen in areas where there were VA-wide improvement initiatives, such as mortality, length of stay and avoidable adverse events. Further findings showed that only seven (5%) of VAMCs had a small decrease in quality.

“This is a major step in the right direction to improving our quality of services for our Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a press statement. “Over the past year, we were able to identify our problems and implement solutions to fixing the issues at 71 percent of our facilities. I’m extremely proud of our employees and the progress they have made to raise VA’s performance for our nation’s heroes.” 

The VA also noted that of 15 medical centers placed under the placed under the Strategic Action for Transformation program (StAT), five medical centers (33%) are no longer considered high-risk and 11 medical centers (73%) show meaningful improvements since being placed under StAT in January 2018. The StAT program is an initiative that monitors high-risk medical centers and mobilizes resources to assist the facilities.

Julie Gould

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