As part of the continuing effort of the federal government to become more transparent and accountable to the public, VA has released Aspire, a dashboard that allows anyone to track the performance of VA hospitals and clinics at the national, regional and local level. All 21 VA regions and 153 Medical Centers are given a score based on the aspirational goal of the Department to deliver exceptional care. Patient safety, clinical effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, patient centeredness, and equitable care were chosen as metrics based on the Institute of Medicine’s “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report. The Aspire dashboard is an extension of Hospital Compare, a tool used to see how VA hospitals stack up against one another in a particular state.
The data presented in the Aspire dashboard is admittedly complex, and the utility of the application may be unclear at first. But the implications for the Aspire data reside in tomorrow, not today. The data allows the Department to evaluate the performance of each VA facility by zeroing in on both successes and areas in need of improvement. That helps drive a natural competition between facilities—which will benefit Veterans, their family members and caregivers. We’re tracking on its user friendliness, and the developers are working on ways to present the data more clearly.
Take a look at Aspire and let us know what you think about the initiative. Will it help you determine how and where to get your medical care?