VA North Texas receives fourth Cornerstone Award - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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VA North Texas receives fourth Cornerstone Award

Hospital bed demonstration at patient safety fair

A health care provider demonstrates hospital bed safety.

By Penny Kerby
Friday, January 11, 2013

Patient safety is a top priority at VA North Texas Health Care System, and we recently received our fourth Cornerstone Award from VA that recognizes our efforts. Our patient safety program is based on a systems approach to problem solving - focused on prevention and accountability.  Much has been accomplished by shifting the goal from eliminating errors to reducing or eliminating harm to patients.

We are no strangers to recognition for our patient safety efforts. VA North Texas won the bronze Cornerstone Award in 2008 and gold in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

VA's National Center for Patient Safety initiated the Cornerstone recognition program in 2008 to recognize VA medical centers which meet the criteria for quality, timeliness and quantity of its individual root cause analysis reviews. The process of root cause analysis determines:

  • what happened
  • why did it happen
  • how can we prevent it from happening again

Patient Safety Manager John Bender believes changing past emphasis from the 'blame game' to one focused on prevention has greatly reduced close calls and medical errors.

Ensuring patient safety is the responsibility of every employee, no matter what area of the hospital they may work. There are many aspects of patient safety that may range from direct patient care to providing adequate hand rails along the walls, and everyone is involved to provide the safest environment possible.

To increase employee awareness about safety products and their features, a patient safety fair was conducted where medical and other patient use equipment was demonstrated. This offered a great opportunity to give employees tools and information they need to nurture and enhance our culture of patient safety.

Veterans who receive inpatient care should partner in patient safety and be proactive in their care.

  • Learn the facts about your condition and medications.
  • Discuss your treatment plan and possible options with your doctor.
  • Know how to continue your care plan when you leave the hospital.

As a well informed patient, you can help us continue our award-winning patient safety program. The 2012 Gold Cornerstone Award ~ it's a win for VA North Texas and the 113,000 Veterans who received care here last year.


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