Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
HBPC Project Named Shark Tank Gold Status Fellow
The Under Secretary for Health recently selected a project to reduce respiratory hospitalizations as a Gold Status Fellow in the Third Shark Tank Competition submitted by members of our Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) team. As a Gold Status Fellow, the HBPC team will work with Tennessee Valley Health Care System to adapt and implement the practice over six months. Many previous Gold Status Fellow practices are now being used by VA medical centers nationwide through the USH’s Diffusion of Excellence initiative.
The Diffusion of Excellence initiative was created to identify and disseminate promising practices, as well as standardize those that promote positive outcomes for Veterans system-wide. As part of this initiative, a semi-annual Shark Tank competition seeks innovative ideas from front line VHA employees to better enhance the Veteran experience. The promising practices that receive Gold Status Fellow status, chosen by Medical Center and VISN Directors during the competition, are then replicated in VA health care facilities across the system.
Our HBPC Team recognized that congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia were the leading causes of hospitalizations in our HBPC population. A project was implemented with the goal of decreasing hospitalizations for these respiratory diagnoses, by educating respiratory patients. The team provided Zone Charts on signs and symptoms of disease to educate caregivers and patients on disease management. The zone chart is used as a quick reference to alert Veterans and caregivers if they are in the Green, Yellow or Red Zone indicating when a patient may need to seek immediate medical attention or contact a HBPC nurse.
In it’s first year of implementation at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, the Zoning Tool project showed a decrease in the incidence of respiratory hospitalizations by 35% in our HBPC Veteran population. As a Gold Status Fellow, the HBPC team will now work with the Tennessee Valley Health Care System to adapt and implement the practice over six months.