Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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DeBakey VA Works to Build a Culture of Safety

December 17, 2009

HOUSTON – The VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) recently awarded the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Bronze Cornerstone Recognition Award to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) for completion of all root cause analyses within 45 days during fiscal year 2009, the second year in a row.

A root cause analysis is a process aimed at identifying the fundamental causes of problems or events. The practice of RCA is predicated on the belief that problems are best solved by attempting to correct or eliminate root causes, as opposed to merely addressing the immediately obvious symptoms.  The process identifies the basic or contributing causal factors that underlie variations in performance associated with adverse events or close calls.  RCA, an important element of the Patient Safety Program, contributes to building a culture of safety.

Award recipients are required to meet specific criteria focused on quality, timeliness, and quantity of root cause analyses. The award is given annually to facility Patient Safety Programs who meet these requirements.

“Our Patient Safety Manager Lekisa Ancalade, and Patient Safety Program Specialist Lisa Johnson are commended for ensuring the DeBakey VA Medical Center met the requirement to complete all root cause analyses within the established timelines,” said MEDVAMC Director Adam C. Walmus. “Last year, the facility completed 11 individual and four aggregate root cause analyses. Not only were the RCAs completed in a timely fashion, but they also were of the highest of quality, helping us learn to be an even better medical center for our Veterans.”

The NCPS was established in 1999 to develop and nurture a culture of safety throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal is the nationwide reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm to patients as a result of their care. Patient safety managers at 153 VA hospitals and patient safety officers at 21 VA regional headquarters participate in the program.

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