The VA has a system of ranking its hospitals, and it’s called the Strategic Analytics for Improving and Learning (SAIL). The system essentially has a number of criteria that they use to determine the overall quality of a VA hospital, and then rank it accordingly. The idea is that empirical numbers can sometimes be easier to make empirical judgments off of, as opposed to solely basing their determinations off of patient satisfaction (though that is included). Among the best hospitals are Altoona, PA; Bath, NY; Butler, PA; and Omaha, NE. Among the worst are Memphis, TN; Roseburg, OR; Big Spring, TX; and Dublin, GA.

The SAIL criteria includes things like the patient mortality ratio every 30 days, wait times for completed appointments, data regarding successful (or unsuccessful) treatment for specific ailments like pneumonia or congestive heart failure, and again, patient satisfaction. It even includes the turnover rates of registered nurses.

You can read each point of the SAIL criteria and what each of them means (in the VA’s words) here. They make sure to mention that SAIL is an internal system, meant for the VA and so is somewhat useless if one is to compare the criteria and rating system here to any other rating system external to the VA. For example, you might get different results from Google ratings, seeing as those ratings are 100% customer based, and do not take into account any of the other factors listed above.

Below is a model outlining a rating system using the SAIL metrics, using a 1 star to 5 star model to rate VA medical centers. The VA has claimed that, based off of 2017’s model, 64% of their medical centers showed improvement from the same model in 2016.

Here is the 2017 model, and here is the one from 2016.

The Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) numbers are simply areas in which certain VA medical centers are divided. You can see the various locations here, and reference the medical centers’ VISN numbers back to this map:

VISN Map | DVA

VA End of Year Hospital Star Rating (FY2017)

Improvement From Baseline: ↑↑ – Large Improvement; ↑ – Small Improvement; →: Trival Change; ↓: Large Decline

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VISN Medical Center Relative Performance
Star Rating (1 to 5)
Improvement From
Baseline Scores 2016
2 Albany 3  →
22 Albuquerque 2  ↑
16 Alexandria 2
4 Altoona 5 ↑↑
17 Amarillo 3
20 Anchorage 3 ↑↑
10 Ann Arbor 4
6 Asheville 4
7 Atlanta 3
7 Augusta 3 ↑↑
5 Baltimore 3 ↑↑
2 Bath 5
10 Battle Creek 2
8 Bay Pines 3
5 Beckley 3
1 Bedford 5
17 Big Spring 1
7 Birmingham 4
20 Boise 4
1 Boston 5
2 Bronx 3
2 Brooklyn 2
2 Buffalo 3
4 Butler 5
2 Canandaigua 3
23 Central Iowa 3
7 Charleston 5
19 Cheyenne 3
12 Chicago 3
10 Chillicothe 5 ↑↑ 
10 Cincinnati 4
5 Clarksburg 3
10 Cleveland 5 ↑ 
4 Coatesville 5 ↑↑
15 Columbia MO 3 → 
7 Columbia SC 2
10 Columbus 5
1 Connecticut 3
17 Dallas 3 ↑↑ 
12 Danville 3 ↑↑
10 Dayton 4 ↑↑
19 Denver 2
10 Detroit 2 ↑↑
7 Dublin 1 ↑↑
6 Durham 3
2 East Orange 3
17 El Paso 1 ↑↑
4 Erie 5 ↑↑
23 Fargo 5 ↑↑
16 Fayetteville AR 4
6 Fayetteville NC 2 ↑↑ 
23 Fort Meade 4
10 Fort Wayne 3
21 Fresno 1
8 Gainesville 2
19 Grand Junction 4 ↑↑
16 Gulf Coast HCS 1
6 Hampton 2
17 Harlingen 1 ↑↑ 
12 Hines 3
21 Honolulu 2
23 Hot Springs 2
16 Houston 4
2 Hudson Valley 4
5 Huntington 4
10 Indianapolis 3 ↑ 
23 Iowa City 2
12 Iron Mountain 5 ↑↑ 
16 Jackson 2
15 Kansas City 2
8 Lake City 2 ↑↑
21 Las Vegas 2
15 Leavenworth 2
4 Lebanon 3
9 Lexington 5 ↑↑ 
16 Little Rock 2
22 Loma Linda 1
22 Long Beach 3
22 Los Angeles 3
9 Louisville 3
12 Madison 4
1 Manchester 4 ↑↑
15 Marion IL 2
5 Martinsburg 3
9 Memphis 1
8 Miami 4
12 Milwaukee 3 ↑ 
23 Minneapolis 5
19 Montana 3 ↑↑
7 Montgomery 3 ↑↑ 
9 Mountain Home 4
9 Murfreesboro 1 ↑↑
19 Muskogee 2
9 Nashville 1 ↑↑
16 New Orleans 3
2 New York 2
12 North Chicago 4 ↑↑
1 Northampton 5
2 Northport 4
19 Oklahoma City 3
23 Omaha 5
8 Orlando 3
21 Palo Alto 2
5 Perry Point 3 ↑↑ 
4 Philadelphia 3
22 Phoenix 1
4 Pittsburgh 4
15 Poplar Bluff 4 ↑ 
20 Portland 3 ↑↑ 
22 Prescott 2 ↑↑ 
1 Providence 4
20 Puget Sound 2 ↑ 
21 Reno 3 ↑↑ 
6 Richmond 4 ↑↑ 
20 Roseburg 1 ↑↑ 
21 Sacramento 2
10 Saginaw 4
6 Salem 4
6 Salisbury 4
19 Salt Lake City 3
17 San Antonio 3 ↑ 
22 San Diego 3
21 San Francisco 3 ↑ 
8 San Juan 3
19 Sheridan 3
16 Shreveport 3 ↑↑ 
23 Sioux Falls 5 ↑ 
20 Spokane 3 ↑↑ 
23 St Cloud 5
15 St Louis 2
2 Syracuse 4 ↑ 
8 Tampa 4 ↑↑ 
17 Temple 3 ↑↑ 
1 Togus 3 ↑↑
12 Tomah 3
15 Topeka 3 → 
22 Tucson 3 ↑ 
7 Tuscaloosa 4 ↑ 
20 Walla Walla 1
5 Washington 2
8 West Palm 2
20 White City 1 ↑↑ 
1 White River 3 ↑ 
15 Wichita 3
4 Wilkes Barre 3 ↑ 
4 Wilmington 2 ↑ 

*Note: Improvement From Baseline: ↑↑ – Large Improvement; ↑ – Small Improvement; →: Trival Change; ↓: Large Decline

Featured image: The exterior of the Veterans Affairs Department hospital is shown in east Denver. Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General found that the hospital violated policy by keeping improper wait lists to track veterans’ mental health care, confirming a whistleblower’s claims. | AP Photo/David Zalubowski