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Ready Reliable Care

Ready Reliable Care is the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) approach to increasing high reliability across the Military Health System (MHS). It builds on the existing work and best practices of the service medical departments and the DHA. Ready Reliable Care works across clinical and non-clinical settings to drive better outcomes for patients, staff, and the enterprise. This approach isn't another project to work on in addition to everything else. It is a critical part of how to get everything else right.

Watch the 3-minute video below to learn what Ready Reliable Care is and what it means for the DHA.

Introduction to Ready Reliable Care

Digital Ready Reliable Care Toolkit

The digital Ready Reliable Care Communications Toolkit provides resources to help you BRIEF, EDUCATE, ENGAGE, and CELEBRATE Ready Reliable Care across your team or facility. It includes targeted briefing materials, talking points and key messages, educational products, digital tools, and visual resources approved for use in your military hospital or clinic. All products can be downloaded from the Ready Reliable Care Communications Toolkit.

Click the videos below to hear senior leaders pledge their commitment to Ready Reliable Care and what it means for the Military Health System.

High Reliability Organizations

A high reliability organization (HRO) achieves top outcomes despite operating in complex or high-risk environments.

The airline and nuclear industries are common examples of HROs. They get top results by:

  • Standardizing processes for less variability
  • Reducing errors to achieve zero harm in clinical and non-clinical areas
  • Celebrating transparency and accountability
  • Valuing everyone's input, regardless of rank

After a review of MHS performance in 2014, each service medical department and the DHA took specific action to improve health care access, quality, safety, transparency, and patient engagement. Now the DHA is working to standardize and spread these efforts, in a coordinated path to high reliability for the entire MHS: Ready Reliable Care.

Ready Reliable Care Principles

The seven principles of Ready Reliable Care guide our work and apply to all staff, in every job. When we use these principles in our work, we advance high reliability:

Icon of an eye representing preoccupation with failure. Icon of sensitivity to operations. The image includes a finger pointing into circle. Icon displaying 2 heads connected with an arching line connecting the two. Icon of a handshake


Drive zero harm by anticipating and addressing risks


Be mindful of how people, processes, and systems impact outcomes


Seek guidance from those with the most relevant knowledge and experience


Foster mutual trust and respect

Icon of a chain link angled 45 degrees Icon of a bullseye with an arrow in the center of it. Icon of many paths all interconnected and pointing to different directions.


Leverage Past mistake to learn, grow, and improve processes


Persist through adversity towards the common goal of zero harm


Strive to understand complexities and address root causes

Ready Reliable Care Domains of Change

By using the Ready Reliable Care principles in our daily work, all staff contribute to a more ready and reliable MHS. System-wide progress happens across four domains of change:

Icon of 3 people with the one in the center raising their hand. Icon of a shield. Icon of a gear rotating Icon of a person within 2 larger rings


Prioritize Ready Reliable Care at all levels of leadership


Commit to safety and harm prevention


Advance innovative solutions and spread leading practices


Focus on patients' safety and quality of care experience

The MHS continues to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares for other changes across the enterprise – including the Transformation and MHS GENESIS rollout. As we do so, Ready Reliable Care is a guide for all of us to simplify and improve care delivery.

Do you know someone who is contributing to a more highly reliable MHS and advancing the DHA mission by embodying Ready Reliable Care principles in their daily work? Nominate them, as part of the DHA Director Spotlight recognition program, for a personalized social media “shout-out” from DHA Director, Lt. Gen. Ron Place.

Clinical Improvement Priorities for MTF Providers

Ready Reliable Care efforts span all four domains of change noted above. This year, we are focused on several projects to support continuous process improvement in the clinical care setting. They include:

- Stepped Care Model for Pain: This model will allow MTFs to standardize and effectively implement evidence-based best practices for managing acute and chronic pain in the primary care setting.

- Opioid Overdose / Naloxone Distribution: Through standardized management of chronic pain, this program will ensure that patients taking long-term opioid therapy with an elevated risk of opioid-related harm, receive overdose education and at least one prescription for naloxone medication in a 12-month window.

For other clinical priorities, visit the page for clinical improvement priorities for MTF providers

You also may be interested in...

Ready Reliable Care Badge Card


Encourages patients and personnel to inquire about Ready Reliable Care, and reminds badge holders to take an active role in preventing harm and improving quality of care.

Ready Reliable Care Carousel Slide


Builds brand awareness and reminds staff of the MHS commitment to high reliability.

Ready Reliable Care Screensaver Reluctance to Simplify


Uses a “High Reliability Checkpoint” to encourage staff to apply Reluctance to Simplify in their daily work.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 9


Suggested social media message: MHS staff don't accept shortcuts. We dig deep to understand the root causes of the challenges we face. When we are reluctant to simplify and sensitive to operations, we find the right solutions. Learn more about our commitment to #ReadyReliableCare []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 10


Suggested social media message: MHS staff never settle for the status quo. We actively look for ways to make our daily practices safer and more efficient, to ensure the best possible care for our patients and each other. Learn more about our commitment to #ReadyReliableCare []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 8


Suggested social media message: The MHS Clinical Communities work to continuously improve our clinical processes system-wide, to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients anytime, anywhere. Learn more about efforts to advance #ReadyReliableCare here: []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Sensitivity to Operations


Suggested social media message: It's everyone's responsibility to make [facility name] safer and more reliable. Take time to recognize a colleague or staff member who demonstrated Sensitivity to Operations while at work today! #ReadyReliableCare

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Preoccupation with Failure


Shows how Preoccupation with Failure applies to all staff.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 4


Suggested social media message: All MHS staff are committed to zero harm and exceptional customer service. Our laser focus on quality, safety, and patient experience will consistently improve outcomes for everyone. Learn more about #ReadyReliableCare []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 1


Suggested social media message: #ReadyReliableCare is the DHA-led effort to advance #HighReliability across the MHS. We are deferring to the expertise of our frontline personnel to learn which practices and solutions are best for system-wide spread. By increasing standardization and reducing variability across our facilities, we ensure high-quality, effective care for all.​ []

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Reluctance to Simplify


Shows how Reluctance to Simplify applies to all staff.

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Constancy of Purpose


Shows how Constancy of Purpose applies to all staff.

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Commitment to Resilience


Shows how Commitment to Resilience applies to all staff.

How Do You Demonstrate Ready Reliable Care Poster


Summarizes the seven Ready Reliable Care principles and provides a visual cue to remind MHS staff to apply these behaviors and values to their individual roles and experiences.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 2


Suggested social media message: In the MHS, #ReadyReliableCare is our shared commitment to advancing #HighReliability. To improve health care safety, quality, access, and patient experience, all personnel are part of the solution, regardless of department or service location. Learn more about #ReadyReliableCare []

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Last Updated: January 13, 2023
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