VA selects 26 health IT initiatives
Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki has selected 26 winning ideas in the Veterans Health Administration/Office of Information and Technology (VHA/OIT) Innovation Competition.

An employee competition launched in February, the VHA/OIT Innovation Competition solicited health IT tools that could move the Department of Veterans Administration (VA) forward in its transformation to a provider of 21st century services.

The 26 VHA/OIT Innovation Competition winners represent 23 different VA medical centers, program offices or regional healthcare entities from 17 states. Yielding more than 6,500 ideas from department employees, the award winners will receive funding and support for prototype development and implementation.

VA Innovation Initiative is a department-wide program to identify, fund, test and deploy new efforts that improve the access, quality, performance and cost of VA services.

The winning ideas include:
  • Reducing healthcare associated infections using informatics;
  • Computerized patient record system (CPRS)-based automated queries and 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 and CPRS for mental health primary care;
  • Discharge pilot program;
  • Show patient picture in CPRS;
  • CPRS enhancement for veteran-centered care;
  • "Parking" outpatient prescriptions to prevent waste;
  • Suicide hotline;
  • 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; and
  • Reduce unnecessary/duplicate lab tests by rules-based algorithms.