Today, as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) efforts to remain transparent and hold VA facilities accountable, VA released its end of fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) hospital Star ratings, which evaluate and benchmark quality of care delivery at VA medical centers (VAMCs) across the nation.
Tennessee Valley Healthcare System's (TVHS) Nashville facility and Alvin C. York facility in Murfreesboro were both among the facilities that made positive strides in the benchmarks and is striving to continue progress. Both Nashville and York facilities improved from a 1 Star rating to a 2 Star rating.
"We are thrilled to see our hard work paying off for our Veterans," said TVHS Director, Jennifer Vedral-Baron. "We are working to improve the whole health of our Veterans and boost employee satisfaction. We can feel our culture changing for the better, so it's exciting to see the data reflect positive change as well," she said.
Vedral-Baron said focus and accountability played big roles in the improvements. Weekly SAIL meetings help service chiefs and other leaders better zero-in on their goals and allow them to share their progress with others.
"It feels good to know our efforts are moving us in the right direction, and we're going to keep that momentum going. I am happy with the improved ratings; however, the work is far from done. Our Veterans deserve the absolute best care we can offer," Vedral-Baron said.
The Star rating designation is designed to help VA identify best practices of its top performing hospitals and share them across VA's health care system to achieve system-wide improvements.
Compared with data from the same period a year ago, the release of VA's Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) report shows 66 percent of VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) have improved in overall quality in the third quarter -- with the largest gains seen in areas where there were VA-wide improvement initiatives, such as mortality, length of stay and avoidable adverse events. Six VAMCs had a decrease in quality, and improvement activities are underway at each of these facilities.
Additionally, of the medical centers placed under the Strategic Action for Transformation program (StAT), an initiative that monitors high-risk medical centers and mobilizes resources to assist them, eight are no longer considered high risk and 80 percent (12 medical centers) show measurable improvements since being placed under StAT in January 2018.
"There's no doubt that there's still plenty of work to do, but I'm proud of our employees, who work tirelessly to move VA in the right direction for Veterans and taxpayers," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.