Report: Providence VA Medical Center improves ambulatory care score

PROVIDENCE – The Providence VA Medical Center was among 103 of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ 146 health care facilities nationwide to improve its Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions composite score, according to the VA’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning report released Tuesday.

The ACSC score focuses on reducing hospital admissions for patients whose medical conditions can be effectively managed in the outpatient setting, such as diabetes.

From the end of fiscal year 2017 through the second quarter of fiscal 2018, the Providence VA Medical Center improved its ACSC score by 3 percent, dropping to 27.2 hospitalizations per 1,000 patients from 28.1 hospitalizations per 1,000 patients in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

The 28.1 hospitalizations per 1,000 patients was a more than 14 percent improvement from PVMC’s fiscal 2016 fourth-quarter score of 33.3 hospitalizations per 1,000 patients.

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The improvements follow several strategic efforts Providence VA Medical Center made to maximize outpatient care as much as possible for such patients, including programs such as Hospital in Home, where patients are seen by nurses and nurse practitioners in their home for care that would have previously been given in an inpatient setting, said Winfield Danielson III, spokesman for the Providence VA Medical Center.

“It’s really about patient-centered care and quality of life,” said Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center, in a statement. “Now many patients have the option to receive quality treatment at home versus being in the hospital.”

The quarterly SAIL report, which has been released publicly since 2015, assesses 25 quality metrics and two efficiency and productivity metrics in areas such as death rate, complications and patient satisfaction, as well as overall efficiency and physician capacity at 146 VA medical centers. It is used as an internal learning tool for VA leaders and personnel to pinpoint and study VAMCs with high quality and efficiency scores, both within specific measured areas and overall. The data is also used to identify best practices and develop strategies to help troubled facilities improve.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at