, MT — The Montana VA prides itself on providing Veterans with the best healthcare experience possible. Montana Veterans deserve nothing less, and on Feb. 28 that effort was recognized when the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center received a 5-Star Patient Experience rating from Becker’s Healthcare.
Becker’s Healthcare Hospital Review compiles a list of the best hospitals for patient experience across the country using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Based on these scores, Becker’s Healthcare Hospital Review gave the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center a 5-Star Patient Experience rating. Fort Harrison was also the only hospital in the state of Montana to receive a 5-Star rating during Becker’s recent review.
“Our whole staff has one focus every day – Montana Veterans,” said Montana VA Executive Director, Dr. Judy Hayman. “We strive to exceed their expectations and to provide the best, world-class healthcare experience. This recognition of our staff is a wonderful validation of the hard work and dedication they provide. And, the best part is that this 5-Star rating is coming from our Veterans. For our staff, that is the most valuable thank you we can receive.”
The CMS along with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the HCAHPS survey to provide a standardized way to collect data about a patient’s perspectives on their hospital care. The survey is administered to random patients in the medical, surgical or maternity service lines after discharge continuously throughout the year. Patients are questioned in 10 different areas of patient experiences including nurse communication, responsiveness of hospital staff, communication about medications, cleanliness of hospital and their willingness to recommend that hospital to others.
The primary purpose of the Patient Experience rating is to make it easier for patients to use the information to spotlight excellence in healthcare quality and compare hospitals. All short-term, acute care, non-specialty hospitals, including Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Department of Defense (DoD) hospitals, are able to participate in the HCAHPS Survey. Over 4,000 hospitals currently participate.
The MTVAHCS serves over 47,000 enrolled Veterans across Montana—an area roughly 147,000 square miles in size. Veterans are cared for by a staff of 1,400 at 18 sites of care across the state. One third of Montana VA employees are Veterans.