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VHA National Center for Patient Safety

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Patient Safety Design Challenge

The initiative provided patient safety managers an opportunity to create a positive impact on design standards VHA-wide.

During two challenges, held 2006 and 2008, five teams were recognized for taking a creative approach to design. The program was voluntary; any VA facility could choose to participate.Hands are shown working on a blueprint set on a table. 

Two categories were offered:

  • Architecture and design of medical care and treatment spaces.
  • Equipment layout, design and procurement (such as code of medication carts).

The equipment category included design, layout, and procurement for items such as code carts and operating room trays. Architecture and design improvements could involve design, construction, or renovation of patient care or treatment areas, including support areas.

To judge the quality of submissions, seven criteria were used:

  • Positive or potential impact on patient safety
  • Innovation
  • Applicability/”Generalizability”
  • Practicality
  • Strength of business case
  • Potential impact on VHA design standards
  • Publication potential in peer-reviewed journals

The projects that resulted from this effort offered valuable insight into VHA systems. Improving VHA systems based on known problems can help reduce or eliminate these issues, improving patient safety.