VA San Diego has received a number of accreditations and awards. Some of our recent notable accomplishments include:
2012 Accreditations & Certifications
- The Joint Commission
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF): Spinal Cord Injury, Medical Rehabilitation, Wellness and Vocational Rehabilitation Enhancement,and Homeless Programs
- College of American Pathologists
- American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer: Comprehensive Cancer Center
- American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Mammography Program
- American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- American Association of Blood Banks
- FDA Registered Blood Bank
- Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)
- Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
2012 List of Accomplishments
- Kathleen Dunn, MS, RN, CRRN, CNS-BC received the 2012 VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and for the Advancement of Nursing Programs in the category of Registered Nurse, Expanded Role.
- Debbie Dominick, MSW, was named Social Worker of the Year for the counties of San Diego and Imperial Valley by the National Association of Social Workers.
- VASDHS Public Affairs received First Place in the 2012 VHA Communications Award for their electronic newsletter, News Briefs.
- Green Awards
- For the sixth consecutive year, the VASDHS Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) Recycling Team was selected as one of the Director’s Recycling Award winners in the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department (ESD) 2012 Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards Program.
- For the third consecutive year, VASDHS was selected as this year’s Practice Green Health Partner for Change with Distinction Award at the CleanMed 2012 Conference, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.
- The Environmental Management Service Waste Management Team received an award for their team’s efforts in implementing and sustaining robust environmentally friendly programs, from the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE).
- VASDHS was a 2012 VA Green Routine Award winner for the Veterans Canteen Service composting project, which recycled approximately six tons of food waste. The compost was used to organically beautify the medical center landscape.
- VASDHS 40th Anniversary Celebration
The medical center celebrated its 40th Anniversary March 12 - 16 with a variety of programs. A formal ceremony observing the facility’s history and accomplishments was held on March 15.
- Patient Centered Care
- VASDHS was a host facility for the International Planetree annual conference in Palm Desert, California, September 30 - October 3, 2012. The Oceanside Clinic also hosted a visit for the conference participants on September 30.
- VASDHS staff received a number of 2012 Planetree awards including the First Place Spirit of Planetree Award (Family, Friends & Social Support) for the Warrior to Soul Mate Marriage Enrichment Retreats by the Chaplain Service. The Spirituality Component Team’s Veteran Tribute Ceremony placed second for Spirituality and Diversity. Food and Nutrition Service’s “Cooking Live with Nutrition and Food Service” placed second for Nutrition and Nurturing Aspects of Food. VA San Diego awards included Caregiver of the Year, Dr. Katherine Wang; Physician Champion of the Year, Dr. Hilda Thorisdottir; and Pet Therapy of the Year went to Wizard of Oz with pet handler Mary Milton.
- Aspire Center approval
The Aspire Center, a planned residential treatment facility for Veterans, located in Old Town, received San Diego City Council’s unanimous approval for a conditional use permit on July 24, 2012. The facility is scheduled to open summer 2013.
- Hosted 5th National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
For the fifth year, VASDHS hosted the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic the week of September 15 - 21 with a record number of 112 participants. The rehabilitative sports event is designed for Veterans who have been injured within the past six years.
- Improved access
- Improved patient access to care via extensive systems redesign in primary and specialty care clinics resulted in over 90% of new and established patients being seen by their primary care provider within seven days of the patient’s desired date. Over 98% of new and established patients were seen in specialty clinics within 14 days of the patient’s desired date.
- 37 new mental health providers and support staff were added this year.
- San Diego Veterans now have convenient online access to their VA health care information, including prescription refills, appointments lists, laboratory reports and immunology records via My HealtheVet. In addition, Veterans can now contact their primary and specialty health care teams via email (secure messaging) any time, any place. In 2012, San Diego increased their number of Veterans with upgraded accounts by 22,019 and increased Veterans enrolled to use secure messaging by 9,161.
- A New Veteran Orientation program was developed and launched this year. The program includes a web page, handbook and quick-start guide designed to help new Veterans easily navigate the system to find
the information and programs they need.
- Quality Performance scores
The Joint Commission accredited hospitals are required to meet an 85% composite compliance target rate for performance on accountability measures. VA San Diego Healthcare System achieved an overall Accountability Composite Rate of 98.9%. The facility met or exceeded the performance measure targets for The Joint Commission, which include Acute Coronary Syndrome, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, and Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP). 21 of the 29 measures were met with 100% compliance for the entire year.
A new Compensation and Pension Clinic located in Mission Valley opened in September 2012.
- VASDHS Research Service celebrated VA Research Week with a lecture series April 25 and 26, 2012.
- San Diego launched the local Million Veteran Program (MVP) in October 2011. This national research program is enrolling one million Veterans in order to better understand how genes and DNA affect health and illness.
- VA Cooperative Studies Program Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (VA CSP NODES): San Diego VA was selected as one of ten facilities to be part of a consortium of VA medical centers with teams dedicated to conducting VA Cooperative Studies research studies. This 2.5 year pilot study will enhance the performance, compliance, and management of VA CSP multi-site research.
- VASDHS is participating in several exciting initiatives in clinical informatics. Over 5,000 local Veterans have signed up for the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program (VLER Health). This allows portions of their medical record to be shared electronically with this VA’s partner organizations, such as UCSD and Kaiser Permanente. Veterans who receive care elsewhere will benefit over the coming months as additional local health care organizations join the San Diego Beacon Community Health Information Exchange.
- VASDHS is in its second year of a pilot program to further develop and enhance the capabilities of the VA electronic medical record. The San Diego Informatics and clinical staff are actively involved in the development of new features and usability testing. When fully implemented, this software will be used at all VA medical centers in the nation.
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