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Quality and Improvement

VCU Medical Center supports easy access for health care consumers to current hospital information. Our commitment is to accurately report about the safety, quality and level of patient satisfaction related to the care we provide in our hospitals and clinics. This website provides access to online resources and explanations about the data that is provided. We hope this information is helpful in your evaluation of health care services. We welcome your feedback and suggestions on ways we can improve this site.

Benefits and limitations of hospital “report cards”

As health care providers, educators and advocates for safe, quality care we think this type of transparent reporting is essential to our community. Therefore, we are:

  • Helping develop better performance measures, and reporting processes and methods
  • Educating patients and families about the data and how to interpret the results
  • Establishing standards and improving processes at VCU Medical Center to avoid releasing misleading information
  • Setting an example by voluntarily providing appropriate organizations and agencies VCU Medical Center data that meets established criteria

As you review data about VCU Medical Center, as well as data about other hospitals and health systems, it is important to understand there are benefits and limitations to the information currently available on a growing number of websites.

Comparing apples to apples. Hospitals are different. They may have different:

  • Levels of experience
  • Types of services
  • Types of patients
  • Numbers of patients or procedures
  • Specialty expertise
  • Responsibilities to the community or region that may affect how they do business

Comparing the most current data. Always check for the date of the report. Some data is two or three years old, which means a lot could have changed since the data was reported. This doesn’t mean the data is wrong — it just means that you might want to consider other factors as well.

Severity of patients. We believe the severity of the patients at each location is one of the most important factors affecting the data. In the case of VCU Medical Center, doctors from throughout Virginia refer patients to the medical center when a local hospital is not able to provide the necessary care. Sometimes we care for patients who require a specific procedure, but also have several other serious medical conditions. In 2005, more than 30% of VCU Medical Center's patients came from outside the greater Richmond metropolitan area. In fact, patients came to VCU Medical Center from as far away as Oklahoma and New York, and from almost a half dozen other countries. Because VCU Medical Center is the only Level 1 trauma center in the region, we accept many patients who are critically ill or injured who cannot be treated at any other hospital. VCU Medical Center only transfers patients who no longer require its unique services and can be safely transferred to a hospital that is closer to their homes and can continue their care.