Tyler Lederer and Marianne Sowah
Senior Consultant and Consultant
VHA, Diffusion of Excellence Initiative
Since 2015, ERPi, along with our teaming partners, has supported the Diffusion of Excellence Initiative to collect, disseminate, and replicate best practices that improve access to care, care coordination, employee engagement, Veteran experience, and quality and safety for Veterans throughout the country. The Diffusion of Excellence Initiative crowdsources practices from VA medical center field staff, evaluates return and impact, and selects best practices to disseminate to the field through a six-month facilitated implementation timeframe. We use human centered design (HCD) concepts to build an implementation action plan, and facilitate peer-to-peer learning between sites that originated a practice, and those that are implementing. Through the Initiative’s Shark Tank-style competitions, ERPi supported the solicitation of more than 700 promising practice submissions from frontline staff members, participated in the evaluation process, and played an integral role in the live bidding process. The Diffusion of Excellence has implemented 36 best practices at 42 facilities and five VISNs across the country, some rolling out to all medical centers. ERPi facilitated the implementation of Gold Status practices at facilities across the country, which inspired more than 200 “organic” best-practice implementations.
Why This Work Matters
In our work, we are fortunate to see a direct impact on VA medical center staff, and on Veterans. Each best practice that we support benefits the lives of Veterans in direct and indirect ways, and ensures they are getting quality access to standardized healthcare. Working directly with VA medical center staff is inspiring; there are incredibly hardworking and passionate staff across the country, changing the lives of Veterans, whose work often goes unrecognized. The Diffusion of Excellence Initiative provides frontline staff members the forum to showcase the positive work that is being done in service to those who served, and an opportunity to impact Veterans across the country.
Making a Difference
ERPi is committed to a mission of service. Through the Diffusion of Excellence, we can serve our nation’s Veterans, ensuring that they receive quality healthcare. In less than two years, ERPi has led the facilitated implementation of seven VHA Gold Status Practices in over 10 VA Medical Centers across the country, as well as through organic diffusion, positively impacting the lives of countless Veterans. Every day we work with frontline staff, and often get to interact with Veterans, and it is amazing to hear this initiative is changing their lives for the better.
ERPi supported the best practice national rollout of “Increasing Access to Primary Care with Pharmacists” to every VA Medical Center (VAMC) through the creation of data collection tools meant to educate and standardize implementation of the practice. These tools were distributed to every VA Medical Center (VAMC) pharmacy program through VHA’s Clinical Pharmacy Program Office, as part of the plan to fully integrate pharmacists into the primary care team to improve Veteran access. In addition, we created a toolkit for a “Pain University”, a comprehensive chronic pain management program that empowers Veterans to self-manage pain. The toolkit was used at 12 medical centers, and will impact the lives of countless Veterans suffering from chronic pain.