, MI — Aleda E. Lutz VAMC continues to strive on our ongoing High Reliability Organization (HRO) journey, especially during the surges in COVID-19 cases.
HRO principles are truly evident in the care we provide to our Veterans at all our primary care clinics. Our Veterans receive top-notch, evidence-based care from Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses who understand the meaning behind “Sensitivity to Operations,” which is a HRO guiding principle used to prevent potential errors which may impact patient safety.
“During the initial COVID-19 surge, many clinics had to cancel face-to-face appointments to ensure the safety of our Veterans and staff,” stated Amy Siler, Chief of Quality, Safety, Value. “Patient safety is one of our top priorities. As an alternative, we provided opportunities for Veterans to attend their appointments via VA Video Connect (VVC) and telephone (Tele-Appointments). This allowed preventative medicine to continue and ensure we would still meet the needs of our Veterans, because, after all, primary health care does not stop during a pandemic.”
By offering the virtual and telephone appointments to our Veterans, it allows our medical center and outpatient clinics to continue to provide seamless care. Veterans were able to continue to receive their cancer screenings (future scheduling of colorectal cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, mammograms), make appointments for diabetic health management (retinal eye exam screening, kidney function lab testing), as well as arrange routine vaccinations such as influenza, pneumococcal, and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Due to this organizational shift, we were able to continue providing high-quality, real time care and our efforts did not go unnoticed. Our facility is compared to all VA facilities across the nation as well as local community providers. When compared across VA facilities, the Aleda E. Lutz VAMC has remained in the top 10% for the preventative care it provides. When compared to local community providers, we continue to outperform in preventative measures by approximately 25%. This speaks volumes to the dedication of our facility/organization, Doctors, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and all the administrative staff who keep the clinics running.
Mr. Cauley, Medical Center Director, stated, “I speak weekly with employees about our HRO journey and share principles we can ensue to continue process improvements, prevent potential harm and overall provide the best care for our Veterans where and when they need it. Not only did the Veterans earn this quality of care, but they also deserve it! I am proud of our team and the outstanding delivery of care they give every single day.”
The Aleda E. Lutz VAMC in Saginaw, Michigan operates an 81-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation Community Living Center. It provides care to over 38,263 Veterans in a 35-county geographic area, from mid-Michigan to the Mackinac Bridge. Veterans also receive care at one of our nine VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics located throughout Michigan. More information about this VA can be found at www.va.gov/saginaw-health-care/.