But take a look anyway, if you have an interest in process improvement in hospitals. This is a collection of my best posts on this topic.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

VA stands for "very accountable"

A mutual friend recently introduced me to Scott Gould, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, who informed me that VA has recently posted the performance data for all 153 medical centers at Veteran's Health Administration on the web. Here's the introduction from the website:

Welcome to the VA Hospital Compare web site. This site is for 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.
Imagine that. They are actually inviting people to make comparisons of clinical quality in their hospitals. I am guessing that this kind of transparency gives people in the individual hospitals an extra incentive to do well. As I have often said about transparency, its main value is in holding ourselves accountable to the standard of care we say we believe in.

This is clearly exemplified by the VA. See below for more from the website. I say bravo and congratulations!

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 our receipt of the Annual Leadership Award from the American College of Medical Quality.

Raising the bar for the 21st century healthcare

Much of the data in LinKS and ASPIRE are simply not measured in other health systems – VA is raising the bar. When available, VA uses outside benchmarks but often sets VA standards or goals at a higher level. VA scores hospitals more than 30% different from the goal as underperforming or red and those only 10% different from the goal are shown in green in ASPIRE. But a red site within the VA might be a good performer compared to outside counterparts. The scoring system is designed to move VA forward. ASPIRE is not about finding fault but about helping VA to target opportunities for improving performance.

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