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Orlando VA Healthcare System Earns National Award for Patient Safety

The Orlando VA Healthcare System (OVAHCS) was recently awarded the 2024 Patient Safety Program of Excellence designation from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS).




The hospital is one of only nine VA healthcare systems to receive the award this year. There are over 170 VA Medical Centers nationally.

“The recent accolade bestowed upon our healthcare system is not just a testament to our unwavering dedication but a clear indicator of the strides we’ve made in fortifying the pillars of safety, care, and positive health outcomes for all,” said Timothy J. Cooke, Director and CEO of the OVAHCS. “This recognition goes beyond mere accolades; it is a beacon of our collective commitment—a commitment that every staff member, nurse, doctor, and administrator shares towards ensuring the highest standards of healthcare are not just met but exceeded.”

A “Program of Excellence” is defined as a body in an organization that has leading-edge knowledge and competency in a particular area and is comprised of highly skilled experts committed to patient safety.

To be designated a Program of Excellence, facilities must apply and submit a comprehensive portfolio that demonstrates the following:

  • Facility leadership empowers their patient safety professionals.
  • Interdisciplinary teams exceed minimum Patient Safety Program requirements.
  • Work efforts align with clearly defined patient safety objectives focused on accountability.

“This achievement serves as a cornerstone for future endeavors, setting a precedent for what can be accomplished through dedication, innovation, and a patient-centric approach,” Rebecca Cronk, OVAHCS Chief, Quality Management explained. “It’s a clear message to the community served by OVAHCS: their health and well-being are in capable hands.”

Major innovations and achievements submitted in the portfolio included contributions to the National Patient Safety Notice for retained intraocular foreign bodies, a Shark Tank Finalist 5S project to create standardized pathology workflows, a Fire in Operating Room poster presentation shared at state and national conferences, and much more.

Additionally, the Patient Safety Program of Excellence designation highlights the consistent pushing of boundaries made possible in healthcare, integrating innovative practices with traditional care models to create a system that is both resilient and responsive to the needs of Veterans who receive their health care from the OVAHCS.

Cooke reminds all staff that continued excellence is upheld by a set of OVAHCS values that strive to greater heights in an incredibly complex ecosystem of healthcare, and that success is not just measured by the clinical treatment provided but by the lives positively impacted and the outcomes achieved.

“The journey towards excellence in healthcare is ongoing, and this recognition is but a milestone in the continuous pursuit of providing the safest, most effective care possible.”



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