January 6, 2011, 08:00:00 AM
VA Posts Annual Medical Quality Report
Quality of Care Better than Private-Sector Health Plans
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued the 2010 annual VA Facility Quality and Safety Report on Jan. 5 that reports on VA health care for Congressional review and offers Veterans the opportunity to see the quality and safety findings specific to their VA medical center.
“We believe in our mission to provide the best care anywhere for Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel. “This posted report shows we are providing high quality overall and identifies the areas where we have opportunities to improve.”
This is the third year VA is posting the annual report and the second year to do so voluntarily.
The Quality and Safety Report, at http://www1.va.gov/health/HospitalReportCard.asp, provides a comprehensive snapshot of the quality of care VA provides at each of 153 medical facilities across the nation. When compared to private sector plans, VA’s findings showed higher quality marks for VA health care. VA used industry-standard measures to score the quality of the care it delivers, and the report shows that, overall, VA’s scores are better than private sector health plans. In addition to allowing VA to provide the public with an accounting of the quality and safety of its care, the report cards provide an opportunity for VA to make improvements where clinical indicators reflect cause for concern.
For instance, the findings related to quality of care for women and the perceptions of quality of care by ethnic minorities highlight that VA shares the same challenges as the private sector in providing equal care to all patients.
Committed to reversing these trends, VA has responded to these challenges in a variety of ways. For example, VA is evaluating emergency room (ER) care for women, rolling out an education plan for ER providers, implementing breast cancer registry to assist in follow-up of abnormal mammograms, and training 400 more
providers in basic and advanced “mini-residencies” in women’s health.
Also, VA medical centers and clinics each have a minority Veterans program coordinator to provide outreach to minority Veterans, as well as educate and sensitize VA staff to minority needs. The coordinators advocate for minority Veterans by identifying gaps in services and making recommendations to improve service delivery.
“I hope every Veteran across America reads the report and learns more about the quality health care they have earned from a grateful nation,” Petzel said. “VA will build from these results, addressing concerns where needed and building even stronger programs where there has been success. I am proud of the VA staff who serve Veterans every day.”
The annual Facility Quality and Safety Report is just one of several public postings of various health care quality metrics for VA’s medical facilities.
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** The 2010 VA Safety and Quality Report is available to the public on the VA website. Because the report contains more than two hundred pages, only a small number of printed copies were made, and VA asks that you please take VA’s on-going efforts to be “green” into consideration before making printed copies.
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