Military treatment facilities (MTFs) aim to give the most care with the least unnecessary injury. They strive to be high-reliability organizations (HROs), a distinction given to operations with the most safety in high-risk environments.
The Joint Commission provides a framework for what it means for an MTF to be classified as an HRO, but it can be a challenge for military organizations to apply high-reliability health care concepts. This is generally because MTFs are unique in their nature—they must achieve consistency amidst multiple chains of command, conflicting priorities and strict yet varying levels of authority. Leadership is constantly rotating.
In order for organizations to assess their standing as an HRO, the Joint Commission provides a three-pronged framework based on leadership commitment, a culture of safety and continuous process improvement. Under the expectation that every MTF is pushing to reach HRO benchmarks, this framework is helpful, but only as a starting point. MTFs need well-defined metrics with which they can understand and report their progress.
In short, the military must be able to determine where operationally and culturally unique facilities stand on the road to HRO status and define a path to achieving it. Like a doctor treating a patient, every MTF needs a diagnosis. Diagnostic approaches are different for every individual, and they lead to different prescriptive solutions.
At Booz Allen Hamilton, researchers have developed an approach that treats MTFs individually, with each unique instance’s best outcomes in mind. To maintain objective analysis, diagnostic solutions should take into account knowledge of military health operations data, including policy, budget, technology and culture.
Creating a diagnostic model must be a deliberate and thorough approach. Done right, it vets a facility’s current state, accurately reflects the world of military healthcare and ensures ease of reporting up the chain of command.
Experts at Booz Allen formulate the most effective diagnostic possible using the following workflow:
- Establish MTF HRO Baseline
- Prepare Gap Analysis
- Determine Alternative Approaches
- Develop HRO Project Plan
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