(a) National Quality Management Officer.—
The Under Secretary for Health shall designate an official of the Veterans Health Administration to act as the principal quality management officer for the quality-assurance program required by section 7311 of this title. The official so designated may be known as the “National Quality Management Officer of the Veterans Health Administration” (in this section referred to as the “National Quality Management Officer”).
The National Quality Management Officer shall report directly to the Under Secretary for Health in the discharge of responsibilities and duties of the Officer under this section.
(3) The National Quality Management Officer shall be the official within the Veterans Health Administration who is principally responsible for the quality-assurance program referred to in paragraph (1). In carrying out that responsibility, the Officer shall be responsible for the following:
Developing an aggregate quality metric from existing data sources, such as the Inpatient Evaluation Center of the Department, the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, and the External Peer Review Program of the Veterans Health Administration, that could be used to assess reliably the quality of care provided at individual Department medical centers and associated community based outpatient clinics.
Ensuring that existing measures of quality, including measures from the Inpatient Evaluation Center, the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, System-Wide Ongoing Assessment and Review reports of the Department, and Combined Assessment Program reviews of the Office of Inspector General of the Department, are monitored routinely and analyzed in a manner that ensures the timely detection of quality of care issues.
Encouraging research and development in the area of quality metrics for the purposes of improving how the Department measures quality in individual facilities.
(4) The requirements under paragraph (3) shall include requirements regarding the following:
A confidential system for the submittal of reports by Veterans Health Administration personnel regarding quality management at Department facilities.
(b) Quality Management Officers for VISNs.—
The Regional Director of each Veterans Integrated Services Network shall appoint an official of the Network to act as the quality management officer of the Network.
The quality management officer for a Veterans Integrated Services Network shall report to the Regional Director of the Veterans Integrated Services Network, and to the National Quality Management Officer, regarding the discharge of the responsibilities and duties of the officer under this section.
(3) The quality management officer for a Veterans Integrated Services Network shall—
(c) Quality Management Officers for Medical Facilities.—
The director of each Veterans Health Administration medical facility shall appoint a quality management officer for that facility.
The quality management officer for a facility shall report directly to the director of the facility, and to the quality management officer of the Veterans Integrated Services Network in which the facility is located, regarding the discharge of the responsibilities and duties of the quality management officer under this section.
(d) Authorization of Appropriations.—
Except as provided in paragraph (2), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.