13. July 2005 · Comments Off on Surprise! VA Hospitals Highly Rated · Categories: Veteran's Affairs

This from Christopher J. Gearon at U.S. News and World Report:

The impact of such changes is real, says Harvard School of Public Health professor and renowned patient-safety advocate Lucian Leape. “Recent evidence shows [that care at the VA system] is at least as good as, if not better,” he says, than care delivered elsewhere. In the 1990s, for example, the VA began using a new way–since adopted by the American College of Surgeons–to evaluate surgical quality. It enabled VA surgeons to reduce postoperative deaths by 27 percent and post-surgical complications by 45 percent. Recently published studies have found that the VA rates much better than Medicare fee-for-service providers in 11 basic measures of quality, such as regular mammograms and counseling for smokers. Late last year, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a study showing that the VA had “substantially better quality of care” than other providers in many of nearly 350 indicators of quality, such as screening and treating depression, diabetes, and hypertension.

While I have noticed marked improvements at the VAMC, Long Beach over the past few years, during my recent hospital stay, everything from soiled sheets in the emergency room to them losing my ID card was most unimpressive.

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