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Ready Reliable Care (RRC) High Reliability Organization (HRO) Awards Program

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The Department of Defense is on a journey to transform the Military Health System into a Ready Reliable Care (RRC) High Reliability Organization, or HRO, to ensure safe, reliable care for all patients and their families. Today, across the MHS, there are a number of actions already in motion to help the MHS advance toward high reliability and ensure that we partner with patients every step of the way to provide the care they deserve.


The Ready Reliable Care (RRC) High Reliability Organization (HRO) Awards Program recognizes initiatives that improve the Military Health System (MHS). We seek approaches and enhancements in both clinical and non-clinical areas that result in more reliable processes, better outcomes, and higher quality care. The goal of the Awards Program is to promote a culture of learning, sharing, and continuous improvement. Awards will be presented in the following Domains of Change: Leadership Commitment, Culture of Safety, Continuous Process Improvement, and Patient-Centeredness.

Award submissions are an opportunity to showcase a project that aligns with a Clinical Community and may be used to drive improvement across the organization. These awards also present an opportunity to develop systems and processes that address improvements in administrative and non-clinical areas, such as admissions, patient scheduling, patient engagement, procurement, staff onboarding, clinician credentialing and more. The awards categories align with the Ready Reliable Care Domains of Change, the MHS HRO model. The award submissions will be evaluated based on the use of the seven Ready Reliable Care Principles: 1) Preoccupation with Failure, 2) Sensitivity to Operations, 3) Deference to Expertise, 4) Respect for People, 5) Commitment to Resilience, 6) Constancy of Purpose, and 7) Reluctance to Simplify.

The application window for the 2021 RRC HRO Awards is now open!! Submit Application
The application deadline is 0700 EST on August 9, 2021.


Download the 2021 Awards Application Guidance for more information regarding award categories or submission guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact the RRC HRO Awards staff.

RRC HRO domains and principles
Ready Reliable Care Domains of Change

Leadership Commitment Award

Leadership Commitment is demonstrated through the confluence of transformational leadership and patient safety culture. It is evident in the degree to which an organization prioritizes patient safety and achievement of intended patient care outcomes.

Leadership commitment involves reviews of how staff are organized, how organizations are structured, how resources are allocated, and how the science of safety education and policy, including admissions, staffing/workload, and safety, is applied. It is the establishment of a positive, accountable, and enabling organizational culture. All of these demonstrate support for the Ready Reliable Care Domains of Change and adherence to the Ready Reliable Care Principles.

Leadership Commitment initiatives for award consideration must fall into or address one of the below areas:

  • Improving Leadership Engagement Strategies and Practices
  • Enabling Demonstration of HRO Principles in Practice and Organizational Culture
  • Highlighting Quality as a High Priority
  • Committing to Technology Solutions Integral to Sustain and Improve Quality
  • Leading Clinical Quality Improvements
  • Addressing Administrative Processes, Training, and Organizational Climate

Culture of Safety Award

Promoting a Culture of Safety means implementing the Ready Reliable Care Principles in pursuit of zero preventable patient harm. Staff members and teams committed to a culture of safety use frameworks, tools, and practices to create, pilot, evaluate, and disseminate practices and innovations that improve patient outcomes and sustain healthy work environments.

Culture of Safety initiatives for award consideration must fall into or address one of the areas below. Initiatives are not limited to practice areas.

  • Reducing Harm
  • Enhancing Culture of Safety
  • Implementing Initiatives to Address Department of Defense (DoD) Patient Safety Culture Survey Findings
  • Improving Staff Burnout
  • Implementing Employee Recognition Programs that Enhance Reliability
  • Promoting Teamwork
  • Establishing Health Metrics to Improve Safety
  • Reducing Healthcare Acquired Conditions/Infections
  • Addressing Administrative Processes, Training, and Tools

Continuous Process Improvement Award

Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) is at the core of Ready Reliable Care. CPI is focused on reducing unwarranted variation across the system, eliminating waste, and lowering costs. The MHS benefits from CPI when every member can be a problem-solver capable of leveraging improvement science.

Initiatives for award consideration must fall into or address one of the below areas; initiatives may be in either primary or specialty care.

  • Implementing Leading Clinical Improvements
  • Implementing Improvements Across a Continuum of Care
  • Implementing Leading Administrative/Non-Clinical Improvements
  • Preventing Readmissions
  • Developing Strategic Clinical Partnerships
  • Reducing Unnecessary Utilization of Care
  • Improving and Refining Administrative and Support Processes

Patient-Centeredness Award

Patient-centeredness in the MHS is a person-centered care delivery partnership between patients, clinicians, and treatment facilities to provide clinical and non-clinical aspects of healthcare from the perspective of the person being treated. Patient-centered care prioritizes healthcare systems and processes such as booking patient appointments as requested or organizing the pharmacy to reduce patient wait-times. Patient-centeredness emphasizes creating systems that enhance the patient and family experience.

Patient-centeredness initiatives for award consideration must fall into or address one of the below areas; initiatives may be in either primary or specialty care:

  • Innovating Patient-Centered Access and Care Delivery
  • Improving Patient/Family Engagement or Patient Care Experience
  • Partnering with Patients/Families in Care Decisions
  • Improving Utilization of Communication Methods to Patients/Families
  • Enhancing Patient and Staff Safety through Education
  • Enhancing Patient Experience through Facility Operations and Access
  • Incorporating Patient-Friendly Organizational and Technological Solutions

Ready Reliable Care Principles

MHS leaders, staff, and patients contribute to high reliability by embodying the seven Ready Reliable Care Principles in their daily work.

  • Preoccupation with Failure Drive zero harm by anticipating and addressing risks.
  • Sensitivity to Operations Be mindful of how people, processes, and systems impact outcomes.
  • Deference to Expertise Seek guidance from those with the most relevant knowledge and experience.
  • Respect for People Foster mutual trust and respect.
  • Commitment to Resilience Leverage past mistakes to learn, grown, and improve processes.
  • Constancy of Purpose Persist through adversity towards the common goal of zero harm.
  • Reluctance to Simplify Strive to understand complexities and address root causes.

Staff members and teams who sustain the continuum of care and support from intake to discharge, from infrastructure to business practices, to implementation and appraisal of processes and systems, are eligible and encouraged to submit an application focusing on any of the award domains.

Award selections are made through an internal board process using numerous reviewers with expertise in quality improvement, patient safety, education, data analysis, information management, case/care management, patient experience, patient-centered medical homes, information technology, change management, innovation, executive engagement, administrative improvement, and health care.

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