Diffusion of Excellence Promising Practices

The VHA Shark Tank Competition shines a spotlight on employees passionate about solving some of the toughest challenges across VHA. It provides them with a platform to bring exposure from all levels of leadership to their practices that are elevating the standard of care for Veterans. All employees are encouraged to submit their successfully implemented promising practices and compete for the opportunity to pitch their practices to Medical Center and VISN Director Sharks.

Selecting Promising Practices – VHA Shark Tank Competition
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VHA Shark Tank Competition Process

The VHA Shark Tank Competition identifies field-developed practices that promote positive outcomes and improved experiences for Veterans and employees, and then facilitates the standardization of those practices across the health care system, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.


VHA employees submit successfully implemented practices


Subject matter experts evaluate applications during two rounds of evaluation


15 Finalists pitch their practices to Medical Center and VISN Director Shark at the live Competition


Medical Center and VISN Director Sharks bid resources to support the implemented of the practices at their site


Winning practices receive "Promising Practice" designation and proceed with implementation in the winning Shark's facility or VISN

Featured Practices

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The TeleLactation Program

The TeleLactation Program was created to provide pregnant and lactating Veterans with the support, education, and tools necessary to successfully breastfeed. Breastmilk is ultimately the best source of nutrition for newborns, infants, and toddlers. However, many barriers prevent women from initiating breastfeeding or breastfeeding for the recommended duration. Despite the well-established benefits of breastfeeding, lactation services are not routinely offered through VA.

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Beta Lactam Allergy Assessment

Beta Lactam Allergy Assessment is an initiative to help decrease inappropriate antibiotic use due to penicillin allergy labels. By using this template, patient allergies are clarified and often cleared. By clearing or clarifying these allergies using the assessment and skin test clinic, we can decrease the incidence of multi-drug resistant infections, decrease treatment failures, decrease hospital length of stay, and save money.

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Blake Henderson
Director, Diffusion of Excellence

“Diffusion of Excellence enables our partnered practices and innovations to sustainably scale across our nationwide health care system to maximize their impact.”