Atlas Research supported the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s Innovation Demonstration Day, which provided VA employees with an opportunity to highlight solutions they devised to improve access to and increase the quality of health care in their facilities. Held August 15 in Washington, DC, Demo Day was designed to bring awareness to innovative solutions at individual health care facilities with the aim of replicating the innovations across other facilities.
Thirty-two presenters spoke about their innovations and answered questions from panelists, which included VA Undersecretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin and Chief Information Officer LaVerne Council. Over 1,000 people attended the event with 215 participating in person and 800 through the live webcast.
Examples of innovations include one from Kristine Gherardi, a certified pharmacy technician at VA’s Boston health care system, who came up with a way to help staff find code medications faster during patient emergencies. Ms. Gherardi, who has worked with two other VA facilities to implement her idea, presented during Monday’s event. Lisa Bruce from Jackson, Mississippi developed an electronic monitoring system of clinical supply inventory, so that when patient supplies start to dwindle, the software automatically alerts staff to order more.
VA is promoting innovation through two department-wide initiatives. The Innovators Network helps facilitate innovations by offering VA employees tools and resources for solving problems in new ways. It offers a supportive space for VA employees to test new ideas while collaborating with stakeholders across the Veteran community to improve the way VA serves Veterans. If the Innovators Network is the spark that lights innovation throughout VA, the Diffusion of Excellence initiative is the fuel that keeps it burning. The initiative is a process and structure that helps identify and spread innovations that solve some of VHA’s most pressing challenges in health care delivery.
Atlas Research provides programmatic support to the VA Innovators Network and Diffusion of Excellence Initiative, including the planning and logistical support of Demo Day.