Kansas City VA Medical Center
Kansas City Sets the Platinum Standard
The Kansas City VA Medical Center’s (KCVA) Clinical Pharmacy Specialist have raised the bar when it comes to Primary Care Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) team-based care. They are one of only two VA facilities across the country to earn a Platinum designation from the VA’s Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office and Office of Primary Care.
According to Shawn McFarland, CPPO national program manager at the VA’s Central Office, the platinum designation is not easily earned.
“This is a huge honor for your entire primary care team,” said McFarland. “It is not only a recognition of your pharmacy department, but of the atmosphere and the team you have created at Kansas City to increase Veteran access and improve Veteran care.”
The Platinum designation recognizes programs that have implemented the ideal practice model of team-based care to improve Veteran access and quality of care.
According to Associate Chief of Clinical Pharmacy Services, Kyleigh Gould, the PACT Clinical Pharmacy Specialists (CPS) and the PACTs have worked hard to implement many of the changes and improvements to team-based care at KCVA over the last couple of years.
“PACT CPS and PACTs have worked exceptionally hard over the last several years ensuring nationally recommended CPS to Veteran ratios, ongoing clinic grid adjustments to maximize Veteran access, expanding disease state management, VIONE implementation, utilizing nationally recommended productivity metrics, and ongoing continuous process improvement,” said Gould.
Earning the platinum designation involves rigorous evaluation by a team of CPPO experts across three rounds of scrutiny. All VA medical facilities were invited to submit their program details for review in the initial round of the process which started in November of 2019. Only six programs progressed to the second round which included detailed reviews of programs by two independent reviewers using a Platinum Program rubric to further clarify the final scoring of submissions.
In the end, only two programs met the Platinum level in quality of care, innovation and Veteran access, according to McFarland.
“The Platinum Practice program started three years ago to identify the core elements of an ideal clinical pharmacy PACT practice,” said McFarland. “Only two facilities made the third and final round, which included in-depth interviews with facility leaders – Kansas City and Madison VA’s.”
Ultimately, both programs earned the Platinum designation and according to McFarland, both facilities were making all these improvements to their programs to improve Veteran care and not to win an award.
“You (KCVA) have created an opportunity to be innovative without knowing you are being innovative. It’s just ingrained in your culture,” added McFarland. “The things you are stepping out on a limb to achieve are things that you are not specifically saying ‘let’s do this to get an award.’ You are doing these things to improve Veteran care and access, which is exactly what we want every VA facility to do.”
The CPPO Platinum designation identifies highly functioning clinical pharmacy PACT practices that can provide examples for other VA facilities to emulate in the future. Kansas City’s CPS team has set the bar extremely high for other facilities to strive toward.“The dedication of KCVA Primary Care CPS is an excellent example for all of us to see High Reliability in action,” said David Isaacks, KCVA Medical Center Director. “The KCVA Clinical Pharmacy Specialists and the entire Primary Care team continue to set the standard for exceptional care for the Veterans we serve. I am proud of their dedication to our mission and this Platinum designation is well deserved.”