U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Danielle L. Hagan, a Diffusion Specialist with VHA Innovation Ecosystem's Diffusion of Excellence, has played a pivotal role in scaling VHA's Surgical Pause practice across 75 VAMCs, benefiting over 85,000 unique veterans. Collaborating closely with Dr. Daniel Hall, Danielle developed a comprehensive National Diffusion Plan that engaged stakeholders from VHA National Surgery Office, Geriatrics and Extended Care, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, resulting in the rapid expansion of the practice.
The Surgical Pause, recognized as a Promising Practice in 2019, incorporates the Risk Analysis Index (RAI), a tool developed by Dr. Daniel Hall, to screen veterans for frailty and assess surgical risks. This assessment enables the surgical team to mitigate risks and align treatment plans with veterans' goals. Transparent communication empowers veterans to make informed decisions about their elective surgery.
Danielle's expertise in project management was crucial in developing efficient tools for the Surgical Pause. She implemented a standardized template in the national medical records system and introduced a user-friendly Power Apps tool for data entry. Additionally, a dedicated dashboard provides quantifiable data, facilitating care planning for clinicians. Under Danielle's guidance, the Surgical Pause is revolutionizing the standard of care for veterans considering elective surgery, addressing their comprehensive needs and improving interactions between clinicians and veterans.
The Surgical Pause benefits the public by identifying surgical risks for frail veterans, personalizing care plans, and improving outcomes. The success of the practice has generated interest beyond VHA, with external providers expressing a desire to adopt this innovative approach.
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