The foundation of High Reliability Organizations (HRO) in healthcare relies on leadership commitment, a culture of safety, and continuous process improvement. As a result, HRO enables healthcare organizations to maintain a constant focus on preventing errors to achieve the goal of zero preventable harm. HRO principles originate from high-risk environments such as aviation and nuclear power, and they are increasingly applied in healthcare settings across the nation.
Cognosante supports the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in its journey to transform culture and operations to become an HRO. One of the largest healthcare systems in the world, the VHA provides patient care to over 9 million beneficiaries through 170 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs), over 1,000 Outpatient Clinics, and 340,000 personnel.
The VHA’s HRO journey is a core component of its overall modernization strategy. Healthcare organizations engaged in HRO journeys require active and visible leaders at every level. Leaders can apply a set of research-backed foundational practices that help enact a just culture and drive continuous learning, all with the goal of reducing unwanted variation in care delivery and eliminating preventable patient harm. Like other health systems around the world, VHA challenges in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic provided unprecedented opportunities to apply HRO principles and demonstrate resilience in the face of a national crisis.
To support the VHA’s HRO contract, Cognosante was tasked to work directly with healthcare executives at VAMCs to assist them in tailoring and implementing a set of foundational practices that infuse HRO into daily operations across their facilities.
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