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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 Wallet Card


Introduces Ready Reliable Care and encourages staff to identify ways to make their work more highly reliable.

Ready Reliable Care Screensaver Respect for People


Uses a “High Reliability Checkpoint” to encourage staff to apply Respect for People in their daily work.

Prescribe Naloxone Today Poster


Encourages providers to always include naloxone when prescribing opioids as part of a pain management plan.

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Deference to Expertise


Shows how Deference to Expertise applies to all staff.

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Sensitivity to Operations


Shows how Sensitivity to Operations applies to all staff.

How Does Your Surgical Team Practice Ready Reliable Care Poster


Encourages surgical staff to use Surgical Briefs/Debriefs and DHA Universal Protocol to help increase safety and improve team communication.

Leadership Practices for Ready Reliable Care Poster


Encourages leaders to use Safety Leadership Rounds and Unit-based Huddles to identify and address potential issues.

Practice Ready Reliable Care with I PASS Poster


Encourages use of I-PASS, a tool to help staff remember the key points for a successful transition of care.

Ready Reliable Care Screensaver Deference to Expertise


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

Ready Reliable Care Screensaver Sensitivity to Operations


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

Approaching Pain Management with Primary Care Poster


Encourages staff to use an integrated approach to treat acute and chronic pain in primary care.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 7


Suggested social media message: Our patients are the heart and soul of our mission. We come to work every day to ensure our nation’s military service members, veterans, and their families are healthy, safe, and ready to take on the next challenge. Learn more about our commitment to #ReadyReliableCare here: []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 6


Suggested social media message: Thank you to the wonderful staff who work hard every day to deliver #ReadyReliableCare to our patients and each other! Your efforts are driving us toward a safer and more reliable MHS. Learn more about #ReadyReliableCare here: []

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Generic Graphic 5


Suggested social media message: Our MHS staff have shown outstanding commitment to #ReadyReliableCare during the COVID-19 pandemic. They remain resilient and focused on delivery of high-quality patient care under difficult circumstances. []

Infection Prevention is Everyones Job Poster


Reminds everyone to use infection prevention practices that help keep facilities clean and safe for patients and staff.

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Last Updated: January 13, 2023
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