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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA Announces Winners of Health Information Technology Initiative

May 28, 2010, 08:00:00 AM

Printable Version


WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today the selection of 26 winning ideas in the Veterans Health Administration / Office of Information and Technology (VHA/OIT) Innovation Competition.

“At VA, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the care we deliver,” said Secretary Shinseki, “The employees who participated in this competition exhibited tremendous creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.  Their ideas will help the department improve health care quality, access, and transparency in service to our nation’s Veterans.” 

This is the most recent effort under the VA Innovation Initiative, a department-wide program that brings the most promising innovations to VA’s most important challenges by involving employees and the private sector in the creation of visionary solutions in service to Veterans

An employee competition launched in February 2010, the VHA/OIT Innovation Competition solicited health care IT solutions that move VA forward in its transformation to a provider of 21st-century services for our nation’s Veterans.  

The 26 VHA/OIT Innovation Competition winners represent 23 different VA medical centers, program offices, or regional health care entities from 17 states. The chosen innovations will receive funding and support for prototype development and implementation. 

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition attracted broad participation, yielding over 6,500 ideas from department employees.  After a Web-based community voting method narrowed the submissions to a smaller group of finalists, a panel of federal and private sector health care and IT leaders reviewed the top proposals and selected the winners.  

The panel consisted of 24 department employee and other distinguished participants, including Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine; Dr. Robert Kolodner, health IT consultant; Dr. Mehret Mandefro, White House fellow; Dr. Stephen Ondra, VA’s senior policy advisor for health affairs; Peter Levin, VA’s chief technology officer; Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist; and, Todd Park, chief technology officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.   

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition follows the department’s Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Innovation Competition, which was launched in August 2009 by President Obama in support of his mission to make government more effective, innovative, and open.  Both VA innovation competitions are part of the VA Innovation Initiative.

VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) is a department-wide program that brings the most promising innovations to VA’s most important challenges by involving employees and the private sector in the creation of visionary solutions in service to Veterans. VAi2 identifies, funds, tests and deploys new efforts that significantly improve the access, quality, performance and cost of VA services.

See attached listing of winning ideas.

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition Winning Innovations

·      Reducing health care associated infections using informatics

·      CPRS-based automated queries & reports

·      Robust VA forms search engine

·      Augment CPRS with standards-based decision support engine

·      Enhanced care management to facilitate case management and chronic disease care

·      Integration of behavioral health lab & CPRS for mental health primary care

·      Edischarge pilot program

·      Show patient picture in CPRS

·      CPRS enhancement for veteran-centered care

·      "Parking" outpatient prescriptions to prevent waste

·      Suicide hotline: be a hero, save a hero

·      Touch screen device support for nursing triage of patients

·      Tools for front line veteran eligibility staffing

·      VA-wide core collection of knowledge based information resources

·      Integrate VistA surgery package with CPRS

·      Illustrated medication instructions for veterans

·      Share verified insurance info via use of the master patient index

·      Veteran online tracking of mail prescription delivery

·      Search function in CPRS

·      Accessible contact information for all assigned care providers

·      Online radiology protocoling tool integrated within CPRS/VistA

·      Wireless voice communications with hands free options

·      Improved access to military personnel records

·      Brief resident supervision index

·      Emergency medical response team communication

·      Reduce unnecessary/duplicate lab tests by rules-based algorithms

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