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Defense Health Agency earns top 2017 Military Health System Awards

Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency (far left) and Thomas McCaffery, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (far right), present the MHS “Advancements towards High Reliability in Health Care” Quality and Patient Safety Award to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital for “Improving Sterile Instrument and Process Handling.” Accepting award (left to right) are Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Asante, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lara Kirchner, Army Maj. Shirley Ochoa-Dobies, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Renardo Reid and Chief Petty Officer James Pell. (Courtesy photo) Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency (far left) and Thomas McCaffery, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (far right), present the MHS “Advancements towards High Reliability in Health Care” Quality and Patient Safety Award to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital for “Improving Sterile Instrument and Process Handling.” Accepting award (left to right) are Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Asante, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lara Kirchner, Army Maj. Shirley Ochoa-Dobies, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Renardo Reid and Senior Chief Petty Officer James Pell. (Courtesy photo)

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MHS Special Recognition

Several activities and one individual from the Defense Health Agency were recognized during an awards ceremony recently as part of the 126th Annual AMSUS (The Society for Federal Health Professionals) Meeting at the National Harbor Gaylord Convention Center, Oxen Hill, Maryland.

The Civilian Nursing Senior Award was presented to Manuel Santiago (Lt. Cmdr, USN Ret.) who works at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Bethesda, Maryland. While serving as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Santiago mentored more than 2,000 hospital staff in the classroom and day-to-day work environment. Additionally, he has contributed to the development, execution and sustainment of over 100 clinical policies, ensuring hospital compliance to national evidence-based standards.

In the MHS “Advancements towards High Reliability in Health Care” Awards category there are several notable standout facilities. 

Winners of the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Awards include WRNMMC for “High Value Cost Conscious Care: Optimizing the Electronic Medical Record to Reduce Unnecessary or Redundant Lab Orders.” Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, was also a winner for “Improving Sterile Instrument and Process Handling.”

The award for Walter Reed was based on laboratory test overutilization as a major wasted costs contributor with 16 to 40% of lab orders considered unnecessary or redundant.  WRNMMC designed a novel multi-intervention system-based approach utilizing the electronic medical Record (EMR) to reduce ordering of clinically unnecessary laboratory studies that add little value to patient outcomes. Between 2014 and 2017 three changes in the EMR were made that resulted in an overall cost savings of about $1.25 million.

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital was recognized for improving unsterile or defective instrument exposure to patients. Fort Belvoir had been operating at an 8% defective rate since the hospital opened in 2011. To achieve new results, the previous QA scorecard was improved, and a QA subject matter expert began training all staff to ensure a better process. In addition, wrapped instruments were put on transport trays prior to sterilization to reduce wrapper tears and contamination. 

In the Improved Access Awards category, WRNMMC received a special award for Improving Access in Specialty or Ancillary Care, specifically for “Dispensing Pharmacists Prescribing Naloxone for Patients at Risk of Opioid Overdose.” Since the beginning of the year 2000, over half a million people have died from an opioid-related overdose.  Naloxone administration by non-medical persons has saved the lives of over 26,000 people since 1996. The Naloxone Project was initiated through collaboration between the anesthesia and pharmacy departments in October 2016.  The process to achieve this goal included educating pharmacists prescribing naloxone, giving pharmacists the authority to prescribe, and prescribing naloxone to patients missing pain management appointments and considered more at risk.

Read the award abstracts. 



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2017 MHS award winners honored

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12/6/2017
MHS “Advancements towards High Reliability in Health Care” Awards: Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Awards - Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for “High Value Cost Conscious Care: Optimizing the Electronic Medical Record to Reduce Unnecessary or Redundant Lab Orders.” Pictured (left to right) are Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, Navy Lt. Brett Sadowski, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alison Lane, Navy Lt. Sara Robinson, Navy Lt. Nora Maddy and Tom McCaffery, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. (Courtesy photo)

The Department of Defense Military Health System honored its top healthcare providers and facilities during an awards ceremony

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MHS Special Recognition
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