Cincinnati top 10 VA Medical Center - Cincinnati VA Medical Center
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Cincinnati VA Medical Center


Cincinnati top 10 VA Medical Center

January 31, 2017

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Veterans Health Administration Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence released its year end Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) report. In it, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center (VAMC) ranks 10th nationally out of 128 facilities, giving the Cincinnati VAMC a 5 star facility rating. (

The Cincinnati VA Medical Center is committed to providing our nation’s Veterans with the highest quality health care. An important tool that we use is the regular analysis of key quality indicators at both the national and the facility level. One monitoring program that VA has utilized for several years is the internally developed SAIL, which assigns a “star ranking” to each VA medical center.

“At the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, we are and will continue to be a learning organization that focuses on continuously improving how to best serve Veterans, but we will not chase after metrics,” said Vivian Hutson, Cincinnati VAMC Director. “ If we are doing the right things for our Veterans and staff, the metrics will follow. Our strategic vision is to be the best place for Veterans to come get care, and the best place for staff to come to work. The measures are a good validation of how we are doing, and an azimuth check of our progress.”

The Cincinnati VAMC uses these quarterly reports to identify areas where we can improve and to identify other facilities from which we may borrow ideas and processes. One area in which the Cincinnati VAMC has made significant improvement has been in reducing hospitalizations as a result of Ambulatory Care Sensitive Condition. Additionally, the Cincinnati VAMC consistently ranks among the top in the nation in Acute Care Mortality as well as in Mental Health Care.

SAIL is a balanced scorecard model that VA developed to measure, evaluate and benchmark quality and efficiency at VA medical centers. VA designed SAIL for internal benchmarking within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), to spotlight the successful strategies of VA’s top performers in order to promote high quality, safety and value-based health care across all of its VAMCs. As SAIL’s name indicates, it is intended to support improvement and learning. SAIL provides meaningful, actionable information about opportunities for improvement at each VAMC.

SAIL uses data from 128 VAMCs that provide acute medical and/or surgical care to Veteran patients. SAIL has a total of 27 quality measures that are organized into 9 domains, covering areas such as Access, Readmission Rates, Length of Stay, Avoidable Adverse Events, Mental Health Care, and Customer Satisfaction. VA facilities are benchmarked on individual measures and domains. In addition, using 10th, 30th, 70th, 90th percentile cut-offs of the overall quality score, each facility is designated a 1 to 5-Star rating for overall Quality.

The SAIL metrics are reported on a quarterly basis through an internal VA website. The most recently released measures are for the 4rd Quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 (July-September 2016). SAIL is one of several quality monitors that VA leaders use to ensure patient care and safety, and to identify areas that can be improved. Other measures include accreditation by The Joint Commission and other organizations.