Patient Safety Initiatives
One of VA’s top priorities is to reduce and prevent harm to patients as a result of medical care. VA studies errors and near misses to find out what happened, why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Addressing these problems leads to safer care and helps to identify and fix potential problems so the next Veteran is safer.
Current VA patient safety initiatives include:
- Ensuring Correct Surgery
Mistakes in surgery are rare, but having surgery on the wrong body part or having a surgical procedure that was meant for another patient would be devastating. VA has tools in place to ensure the surgery team provides the correct surgery.
- Hand Hygiene Practices
Two million patients per year get an infection when they are in the hospital. Hand washing is one way to prevent the spread of infections.VA employees wash their hands in the patient’s room so that you can see they are taking your health seriously. VA also has different kinds of hand cleaners to stop the spread of infections.
- The Daily Plan
The Daily Plan is like a checklist of your care. The Daily Plan gives you a list of what you can expect to happen to help you each day. You should ask questions if something seems different than what is on your plan. You should also ask questions if something is on your plan and it does not happen. You and your family are important in getting better. You are asked to speak up if you have questions or are concerned about anything.
For more information about patient safety, or to read more about what VA is doing to keep Veterans safe, please visit the National Center of Patient Safety (NCPS) website.