SHERIDAN — As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to remain transparent and hold facilities accountable, VA released its end of fiscal year 2018 hospital star ratings, which evaluate and benchmark quality of care delivery at VA medical centers across the nation.

The Sheridan VA Medical Center was one of the facilities that made positive strides in the benchmarks and is striving to continue progress, going from a 3-star rating to 4-star rating.

“Over the past year Sheridan VA employees have worked extremely hard to continue to serve our veterans and provide the best care possible,” Sheridan VA Health Care System acting director Todd McGraw said. “Their efforts have paid off by seeing improved performance in the quality of patient transitions, telephone call response rates and employee satisfaction.”

The star rating designation is designed to help VA identify best practices of its top performing hospitals and share them across VA’s health care system to achieve systemwide improvements.

Compared with data from the same period a year ago, the release of VA’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning report shows 66 percent of VA Medical Centers have improved in overall quality in the third quarter — with the largest gains seen in areas where there were VA-wide improvement initiatives, such as mortality, length of stay and avoidable adverse events. Six VAMCs had a decrease in quality and improvement activities are underway at each of these facilities.

Additionally, of the medical centers placed under the Strategic Action for Transformation program, an initiative that monitors high-risk medical centers and mobilizes resources to assist them, eight are no longer considered high risk and 80 percent (12 medical centers) show measurable improvements since being placed under StAT in January 2018.

“There’s no doubt that there’s still plenty of work to do, but I’m proud of our employees, who work tirelessly to move VA in the right direction for veterans and taxpayers,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.