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Committed to Continuous Improvement: Highlighting Projects from the 2021 San Francisco VA Health Care System Innovation and Improvement Fair

Innovation and Improvement

SFVAHCS hosts an Innovation and Improvement (I&I) Fair, a unique opportunity to highlight staff-led projects designed to advance VA care and services to the entire facility and the community of Veterans we serve.

The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SF VAHCS) is committed to the quality of care and services we provide to our nation’s Veterans. Our commitment to continuous improvement is not only part of our everyday work — it’s an annual event.

Each year, SFVAHCS hosts an Innovation and Improvement (I&I) Fair, a unique opportunity to showcase the exceptional work of VA San Francisco Health Care System staff to the entire facility and the community of Veterans we serve. The fair highlights staff-led projects designed to advance VA care and services.

The most recent I&I Fair was held in the fall of 2021, despite ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the project submissions reflected and addressed the challenges posed by the pandemic, with a strategic focus on reaching Veterans through innovative and targeted outreach.

“The I&I Fair shows just how committed to innovation we are as a health care system,” says San Francisco VA Health Care System Acting Director Jia F. Li. “The amazing projects that came out of the most recent fair is a shining example of the good work that come when you invest in your employees.”

Here are just a few of the innovations and improvements made by the San Francisco VA Health Care System in 2021:

Increasing Access to Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

SFVAHCS implemented several provider-level process improvements to reduce barriers to prescribing buprenorphine, an FDA approved and recommended treatment for opioid use disorder. The result is more accessible treatment options and improved patient care for Veterans struggling with opioid use disorder.

Email Access to HUD-VASH Housing Map

SFVAHCS offers Veterans experiencing homelessness assistance through the supportive housing HUD-VASH program. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing in-person housing seminars, VASF created a regularly updated virtual housing map to help HUD-VASH participants to identify available program housing in SF neighborhoods. 

Harm Reduction Kits for HUD-VASH Program participants

SFVAHCS supports a harm reduction approach to substance use disorder. To combat higher rates of homelessness among Veterans struggling with substance use disorder, SFVA’s supportive housing program, HUD-VASH, piloted distribution of harm reduction kits to program participants. Each kit provides HUD-VASH Veterans with education and harm reduction supplies designed to reduce the negative consequences of drug use such as infection, disease transmission and overdose deaths. 

In-House 3D Printed Dental Implant Surgery Guides

SFVAHCS developed the infrastructure to design, print and sterilize dental implant guides on-premises.  Now, Veterans needing dental implant surgery can benefit from customized, 3D printed surgical guides. These state-of-the-art devices help reduce surgery duration, post-operative pain and improve dental implant results.

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We will once again spotlight outstanding advancements made by the SFVA health care community as the Office of Systems Redesign and Improvement proudly hosts the 9th annual Innovation and Improvement Fair in fall 2022.

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