VHA Health Foundation awards $1 million in grants
The VHA Health Foundation has awarded grants to four healthcare organizations to fund promising health and healthcare initiatives at the local level. The Foundation's goal is to foster and diffuse innovation throughout the health care industry.

The grant recipients are:
  • Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Inc. in Oakland, Calif.: To support Kaiser Permanente's testing of integration strategies for new technologies and the technologies' impact on workflow. The grant will be used to create a national learning network of health care organizations currently engaged in innovation to identify successful strategies and explore ways to disseminate innovation.

  • Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas: To support the implementation of a fully integrated electronic health record using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of the Veterans Administration's VistA information system, known as "OpenVistA." This project will evaluate the effects on patient safety, quality of care, organizational efficiency and return on investment as a result of the OpenVistA implementation.

  • OhioHealth's Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio: To support an outcomes measurement initiative associated with its Center for Medical Education and Innovation (CME+I) program. Funds will be used to measure the impact of hospital simulation on clinical knowledge, skill development and professional development for CME+I trained physicians, nurses, and health care professionals.
  • University of Chicago Hospitals: To support the Cognitive Technologies Laboratory (CTL) Medical Accident Data Collection and Analysis Service (MEDCAS) Center to implement a national pilot program to validate the Center's methods and procedures used to investigate, analyze, and report adverse health care events and provide a 'best practice' model for creating a safe reporting environment.
Over a period of 15 months, grantees will implement their innovations and participate in various learning platforms, including a national conference focused on health care innovation.