VA Hospital Compare Program

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
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The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the VA‘s Under Secretary for Health are committed to transparency – giving Americans the facts. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) releases the quality goals and measured performance of VA health care in order to ensure public accountability and to spur constant improvements in health care delivery. The success of this approach is reflected in VA‘s receipt of the Annual Leadership Award from the American College of Medical Quality. The VA Hospital Compare web site http://www.hospitalcompare.va.gov/ provides veterans, family members and their caregivers to compare the performance of their VA hospitals to other VA hospitals. Using this tool, Veterans, family members, and caregivers can compare the hospital care provided to patients. Quality Information on this web site is divided into the areas of:
1) Linking Information Knowledge and Systems (Links) – summarizes outcome measures for acute care, ICU, outpatient , safety and annual measures. This data shows strengths and opportunities for improvement at the national, regional and local hospital levels. LinKS supports the VA mission to provide the best possible care to the Veterans. The dashboard shows what is being measured and the result. A simple example would be for smoking. VA measures the percentage of veterans that smoke and what they have done to help them stop smoking such as smoking cessation classes, counseling or medication to help them quit.
2) VA‘s Transparency Program (ASPIRE) – documents quality and safety goals for all VA hospitals, plus how well their hospitals are meeting these goals. VA scores hospitals more than 30% different from the goal as underperforming or red and those only 10% different from the goal as green This data shows strengths and opportunities for improvement at the national, regional and local hospital level. ASPIRE data supports the VA's mission of a continuous health care improvement program to provide the best possible care to Veterans. The database lists many measures and the goal for each measure. The data shows VA is in comparison to where VA wants to be. A simple example would be for blood pressure management. The goal for all veterans age 18-85 with high blood pressure is to have blood pressure readings less than 140/90. This measure shows the percentage of Veterans meeting that blood pressure goal.
3) Comparing by state how well your local VA hospital cares for its veterans with congestive heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. http://www.hospitalcompare.va.gov/apps/Compare/index.asp.
4) Tracking by state progress in the VA in reducing complications from surgery including infection, blood clots, cardiac, and respiratory problems. http://www.hospitalcompare.va.gov/apps/Compare/SCIP.asp
This information will help you compare the quality of care that VA hospitals provide. Talk to your doctor about this information to help you, your family, and your caregivers make your best hospital care decision. [Source: http://www.hospitalcompare.va.gov/ Sep 2011 ++]
 

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