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VHA National Center for Patient Safety

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The Patient Safety Initiative

The Patient Safety Initiative (PSI) was announced in March 2006 to stimulate creative approaches to complex patient safety issues at the local level. 

Participants were encouraged to submit project proposals to NCPS stating how, specifically, their projects’ would improve patient safety. Seventy-eight proposals were funded between FY 2006 and FY 2009. A clincian inn a lab coat looks toward the view with others in the background. 

  • Seventy-eight proposals were funded during the course of the initiative.

VA patient safety professionals have used PSI as an opportunity to develop projects with a demonstrable impact on their patient safety programs; projects with well-defined measures and strong rationales.

Examples of Topics

  • Falls Prevention
  • Increase Flu Vaccination Rates
  • Lifting Injury Prevention
  • Process for Baseline Counts of Adverse Events
  • Elopement/Wandering Prevention
  • Pressure Ulcer Prevention
  • Suicide Prevention

Examples of Success Stories

Decrease in fall rate by 25 percent — VA Medical Center, Augusta, Ga.

  • The grant was used for promotional items and costs of a “Falls Fair,” which covered topics such as the use of the Morse Fall Scale and different types of fall preventions and interventions.

Increased flu vaccination rate: 51 percent to 67 percent — VA Medical Center, Tomah. Wis.

  • The facility’s promotion strategies were based on incentives. For instance, those who took a flu shot received a T-shirt.
  • Employees and patients were offered flu shots in the same area, streamlining the operation.
  • To increase accessibility, the shots were also provided in all nursing homes and medical wards and on all shifts.