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VA Shark Tank Winner - Lexington VA Surgery Department's SHRIMPS Initiative

Dr. Harris from Lexington VA Health Care System, presenting Shark Tank project.
Dr. Harris, Lexington VA Health Care System Shark Tank presenter.

On November 1, 2023, Dr. Andrew Harris, Chief of Surgery at Lexington VA Health Care System, presented his team’s innovation at VA’s National Shark Tank Competition in Washington, DC.

The VA’s Innovator’s Network hosts an annual Shark Tank Competition to solicit best practices across the country to improve care delivery to Veterans. The Lexington Surgery Service’s “SHRIMPS” presentation highlighted the great work being done at Lexington VA. The premise of the innovation was improving communication in the operating room and standardizing the technician process used during surgery. Both a handoff tool and visual cognitive aid using the acronym SHRIMPS was established to remind surgical technicians of the critical elements to be performed in each handoff. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness between the team during an operating procedure.

The Lexington VA’s SHRIMPS project was named a “Promising Practice” - something just 10 of the 15 Shark Tank finalists were awarded. The initial pool of applicants was over 300. The North Florida/South Georgia VA will be the first to adopt this practice, with likely more to join after it joins the VA Innovator’s Diffusion Marketplace. 

Lexington VA believes innovation drives success. This was not the first time Dr. Harris’s team has made it to the Shark Tank stage. They also were selected in 2021 for the “VA Operating Room Preparation Standardization” which has now spread to three other VA sites. In 2019, Lexington VA’s Nutrition team featured their Healthier Kidneys Through Your Kitchen Program at this Shark Tank event, which has spread to 20 VAs and counting.

If you are a Veteran and you believe you need surgery, please call 1-888-824-3577 and ask to be connected to your Primary Care Provider team. Are you a Veteran but not yet enrolled in VA Health Care? Call our eligibility team at 859-233-4511 ext. 4371.

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