Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
PVAMC Commitment to Transformation Beginning to Bear Fruit
As 2011 draws to a close, we'd like to share with you some of our success stories for the year.
During the past year, we cared for nearly 33,000 Veterans—that translates into over 1.7 million clinic encounters (including Pharmacy and Laboratory & Pathology), over 23,000 bed days of care, and over 3,000 emergency room visits. That’s a lot of patient care and a direct reflection of the commitment, partnership, compassion, and plain-old-fashioned hard work on the part of many, many people--to include our employees and volunteers, our Veterans and their families, and our stakeholders and community partners.
Over the past year or so, you may have heard us mention the word 'transformation'--more specifically, our need to transform how we deliver healthcare. Well, we are proud to say we have made much progress towards this worthy goal. Our commitment to a culture of transformation is beginning to bear fruit, and we’d like to share with you a few examples:
• A couple of years ago, we were one of the first VA medical centers to implement the Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) model. We now have 8 smaller/more intensively-staffed care managed teams. Our focus is no longer just on acute care but also on health promotion and disease prevention, which includes both healthy behavior coaching and promotion of psychological wellness and resilience. Additionally, we’ve shifted our focus from being provider-centered to patient-centered with our Veterans now partners in their healthcare. Now that is truly transformational.
• We now have over 5,000 OEF/OIF/OND Veterans and over 1,300 women Veterans receiving care and services at our facility. These numbers will continue to grow over the next 10 years. We now serve the full-spectrum of our Veteran population. We’re not just your grandfather’s VA!
• We continue our commitment to eliminating Veteran homelessness through a variety of programs and services, and, since 2009, we have housed approximately 225 Veterans while continuing to achieve strong clinical outcomes. Eliminating homelessness is one of Secretary Shinseki’s key transformational initiatives.
• We continue to improve access to care, offering evening clinics and expanding use of new informatics and technology such as My HealtheVet secure messaging and Telehealth technology. We continue to grow our Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) program, and HBPC services are now available at all CBOCs. We are providing the right care, at the right place, and at the right time.
• Our journey towards a culture of continuous improvement in particular (and a learning organization in general) continues to gain steam. We have already trained over 200 employees in process improvement using systems redesign principles. We’ve completed over 70 projects to date throughout all echelons in the organization, and many more are set to begin after the New Year. We are proud to say that we are committed to the idea that improving our work is our work.
• We continue to grow our research program, engaging in cutting edge work that is truly translating science fiction into reality. We recently initiated the first clinical trial of the DEKA arm at five different VA locations around the country and have begun to use the BrainGate technologies to operate the DEKA arm. We’ve also received grants to improve student and resident training. Given that we train over 300 students and residents each year, these grants will most certainly have an impact on the next generation of doctors, nurses, and social work and mental health professionals—not just in the VA but in our communities as well.
• Last, but certainly not least, is our strong commitment to organizational health. We have an active and engaged CREW (Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workplace) program that is an integral part of our growth towards a culture of civility and respect. Our Integrated Ethics “monthly Values” initiative was selected by the National Center for Ethics in VHA as a best practice. Finally, we are well on our way to a 21st century communication program—one centered around transparency—that uses print, web-based, and social media to enhance both internal and external communications.
This coming New Year, we are confident we will sustain this level of energy and commitment to transform how we deliver healthcare—to a healthcare system that’s more people-centered, forward-looking, and results-oriented. We have every reason to be proud of what we do each and every day. Veterans count on us, and we count on each other.
The Providence VA Medical Center would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year.