Diffusion of Excellence - Organizational Excellence
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Organizational Excellence


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Diffusion of Excellence

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Borrowing from start-up and entrepreneurial ventures, the VA launched The Diffusion of Excellence Initiative in 2015 to engage, encourage and support employees to solve VA's most pressing challenges.

The Diffusion of Excellence Initiative helps to identify and disseminate clinical and administrative best practices through a learning environment that empowers its top performers to apply their innovative ideas throughout the system — further establishing VA as a leader in health care while promoting positive outcomes for Veterans.

VHA Innovation Experience

Join us at the National Press Club on August 29-30 to learn how VA is redefining Veteran care! We welcome you to attend the 2018 VHA Innovation Experience (VHA I:E). This two-day session will highlight Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees who are committed to transforming the way the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) serves our nation’s heroes. This series of events includes VHA Innovation Demo Day, a poster networking reception, VHA I:E Talks, and Shark Tank Live!

Register via Eventbrite:

2018 VHA Shark Tank Competition

Congratulations to the 2018 VHA Shark Tank Competition Finalists!

The Diffusion of Excellence Team is pleased to announce the 2018 VHA Shark Tank Competition Finalists! Program office leaders evaluated 100 competitive Semifinalist applications and selected 20 Finalists who will advance to pitch their practices to Medical Center and VISN Director Sharks in the 2018 VHA Shark Tank Competition on August 30, 2018.

The 20 Finalist practices address all eight VHA Shark Tank Priorities as illustrated below.

Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to the Finalists! For more information on the Finalist practices or how to watch the live VHA Shark Tank Competition on August 30, please monitor the Diffusion of Excellence VA Pulse page for updates in the coming weeks.

2018 VHA Shark Tank Competition Finalists

VISN 2 James J. Peters VA Medical Center Project Life Force- novel group suicide safety planning intervention Marianne Goodman
VISN 4 Philadelphia VA Medical Center Better Health, Lower Cost: How IMPaCT Community Health Workers Can Support Veterans Judith Long
VISN 6 Durham VA Medical Center Advanced Comprehensive Diabetes Care (ACDC) Matthew Crowley
VISN 6 Durham VA Medical Center COACH - Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home Judith Davagnino
VISN 6 Durham VA Medical Center Gerofit Miriam Morey
VISN 6 Durham VA Medical Center Getting Hospitalized Veterans Back on Their Feet: The STRIDE Program Susan N. Hastings
VISN 6 Salem VA Medical Center LEAF & Clinic Action Requests Brian Campbell
VISN 7 Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Utilizing Machine Learning to Audit and Impact Prescription Benefit Decisions Cory Fominaya
VISN 8 James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital Hypertension Management via Virtual Visits Margaret Carrico
VISN 8 Malcom Randall VAMC - North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Community Care Consult Document Solution Andrea Pe Benito
VISN 9 Memphis VA Medical Center Reducing Concomitant Utilization of Opioids and Benzodiazepines Josh Sullivan
VISN 12 Tomah VA Medical Center RN Stay Interviews: A Nursing Turnover Strategy Karen Long
VISN 12 William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Reducing COPD Readmission Rates by Improving Transitions of Care through an Interprofessional Primary Care Team Edward Portillo
VISN 12 William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Safe and Successful Implementation of Clinically Indicated Peripheral IV Removal Heather Royer
VISN 17 VA North Texas Health Care System Dallas VA Medical Center Enhanced Recovery after Surgery with the Use of Liposomal Bupivacaine in Total Knee Replacement John Martell
VISN 20 Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center Nursing Professional Standards Board (NPSB) Electronic Process Jennifer Calkins
VISN 20 VA Puget Sound Health Care System Consolidating Cataract Refe Hoon Jung
VISN 20 VA Puget Sound Health Care System Environmental Management Service Ricardo Rucker
VISN 22 VA San Diego Healthcare System Improving Audiology Same Day Access Using Hearing Aid Drop-off Process Kristen Dockan
VISN 22 VISN 22: Desert Pacific Healthcare Network 4-Sight: Automated Eyeglass Ordering for Prosthetics David Hook


Identify and scale innovations across Veterans Health Administration (VHA) while:

Empowering employees
to promote innovation sharing and drive a culture of continuous improvement

Institutionalizing processes and mechanisms
for VHA to systematically diffuse and implement promising practices throughout the system

Graphic representation of people, processes and technology as a triple helix that tranforms into a bright light, which is Diffusion of Excellence.

Model for Spreading Best Practices

  1. Identify Promising Practices
    Solicit practices from frontline employees, and engage staff at all levels to evaluate them
  2. Find Champions
    Medical center directors select local champions to serve as early adopters to help identify best practices through competitions like a virtual "shark tank"
  3. Adapt and Replicate
    Leverage VA Innovators Network and VHA Innovations Program as catalysts to engage field staff and leaders during replication
  4. Establish Consistency and Standardize
    With national program office leader support, select the best innovative ideas and practices and positions them for tiered scaling or national rollout
  5. Sustain and Improve
    Establish a centralized operations center to manage and track outcomes in parallel with implementation

Diffusion Projects Across the U.S.

Practices submitted

Gold Status Practices


U.S. map with circles whose scales indicate number of projects.