Last month, the West Texas VA Health Care System received a 1-star rating out of a possible 5 stars on the Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, also known as S.A.I.L. Quality of Care Assessment for the 2017 Fiscal Year for VA Medical Centers.
The S.A.I.L. rating is meant to be used as an internal tool to keep the medical clinics striving for success by rating them in a competitive manner against their peer groups and against their performance from the previous year.
“There’s so much behind it, and so much that we’re trying to do,” said Director of the West Texas VA Health Care System Kalautie JangDhari of the rating. “I anticipate with the growth that we’re trying to build on seeing new patients with the staff that we’re getting in, I’m hiring a number of new staff, that you’ll see some reward in about 6 months. It’s not going to happen in 3 months but it’ll probably happen in 6 months, and definitely next year.”
Some of the things that the community can do to help is to get the veterans in the community and catchment area to enroll with the West Texas VA Health Care System because the facility can only get graded on the number veterans that go in to get treated and there is a great potential to see a lot more. This includes encouraging younger veterans to enroll with VA healthcare even if they are relatively healthy.
According to Director JangDhari, “every veteran earned the honor and the right to be enrolled in VA health care and I hope that every veteran would be enrolled because you never know when you’ll need it.”
By increasing the number of veterans that the VA has enrolled the West Texas VA Health Care System will be able provide more of a variety of services.
Another way that the West Texas VA can improve their S.A.I.L. rating is by having more quality providers to join the quality providers and staff that the VA currently has. Director JangDhari says she like to have good mix of nurse practitioners and medical doctors because together they can see more patients and that will give the West Texas VA Health Care System more of an opportunity for growth.
It should also be noted that patient ratings also hold a lot of weight on the quarterly rating that the local VA medical center receives. Director JangDhari says she doesn’t want to push patients to rate the facility a 9 or 10, but she hopes that patients will rate them fairly showing that their needs have been met.