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Ready Reliable Care

Ready Reliable Care is the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) approach to increasing high reliability across the Military Health System (MHS). It builds on the existing work and best practices of the service medical departments and the DHA. Ready Reliable Care works across clinical and non-clinical settings to drive better outcomes for patients, staff, and the enterprise. This approach isn't another project to work on in addition to everything else. It is a critical part of how to get everything else right.

Watch the 3-minute video below to learn what Ready Reliable Care is and what it means for the DHA.

Introduction to Ready Reliable Care

Digital Ready Reliable Care Toolkit

The digital Ready Reliable Care Communications Toolkit provides resources to help you BRIEF, EDUCATE, ENGAGE, and CELEBRATE Ready Reliable Care across your team or facility. It includes targeted briefing materials, talking points and key messages, educational products, digital tools, and visual resources approved for use in your military hospital or clinic. All products can be downloaded from the Ready Reliable Care Communications Toolkit.

Click the videos below to hear senior leaders pledge their commitment to Ready Reliable Care and what it means for the Military Health System.

High Reliability Organizations

A high reliability organization (HRO) achieves top outcomes despite operating in complex or high-risk environments.

The airline and nuclear industries are common examples of HROs. They get top results by:

  • Standardizing processes for less variability
  • Reducing errors to achieve zero harm in clinical and non-clinical areas
  • Celebrating transparency and accountability
  • Valuing everyone's input, regardless of rank

After a review of MHS performance in 2014, each service medical department and the DHA took specific action to improve health care access, quality, safety, transparency, and patient engagement. Now the DHA is working to standardize and spread these efforts, in a coordinated path to high reliability for the entire MHS: Ready Reliable Care.

Ready Reliable Care Principles

The seven principles of Ready Reliable Care guide our work and apply to all staff, in every job. When we use these principles in our work, we advance high reliability:

Icon of an eye representing preoccupation with failure. Icon of sensitivity to operations. The image includes a finger pointing into circle. Icon displaying 2 heads connected with an arching line connecting the two. Icon of a handshake


Drive zero harm by anticipating and addressing risks


Be mindful of how people, processes, and systems impact outcomes


Seek guidance from those with the most relevant knowledge and experience


Foster mutual trust and respect

Icon of a chain link angled 45 degrees Icon of a bullseye with an arrow in the center of it. Icon of many paths all interconnected and pointing to different directions.


Leverage Past mistake to learn, grow, and improve processes


Persist through adversity towards the common goal of zero harm


Strive to understand complexities and address root causes

Ready Reliable Care Domains of Change

By using the Ready Reliable Care principles in our daily work, all staff contribute to a more ready and reliable MHS. System-wide progress happens across four domains of change:

Icon of 3 people with the one in the center raising their hand. Icon of a shield. Icon of a gear rotating Icon of a person within 2 larger rings


Prioritize Ready Reliable Care at all levels of leadership


Commit to safety and harm prevention


Advance innovative solutions and spread leading practices


Focus on patients' safety and quality of care experience

The MHS continues to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares for other changes across the enterprise – including the Transformation and MHS GENESIS rollout. As we do so, Ready Reliable Care is a guide for all of us to simplify and improve care delivery.

Do you know someone who is contributing to a more highly reliable MHS and advancing the DHA mission by embodying Ready Reliable Care principles in their daily work? Nominate them, as part of the DHA Director Spotlight recognition program, for a personalized social media “shout-out” from DHA Director, Lt. Gen. Ron Place.

Clinical Improvement Priorities for MTF Providers

Ready Reliable Care efforts span all four domains of change noted above. This year, we are focused on several projects to support continuous process improvement in the clinical care setting. They include:

- Stepped Care Model for Pain: This model will allow MTFs to standardize and effectively implement evidence-based best practices for managing acute and chronic pain in the primary care setting.

- Opioid Overdose / Naloxone Distribution: Through standardized management of chronic pain, this program will ensure that patients taking long-term opioid therapy with an elevated risk of opioid-related harm, receive overdose education and at least one prescription for naloxone medication in a 12-month window.

For other clinical priorities, visit the page for clinical improvement priorities for MTF providers

You also may be interested in...

Infection Prevention is Everyones Job Poster


Reminds everyone to use infection prevention practices that help keep facilities clean and safe for patients and staff.

Ready Reliable Care Principles Poster Respect for People


Shows how Commitment to Resilience applies to all staff.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Respect for People


Suggested social media message: Mutual trust and Respect for People is a cornerstone of the [facility name] culture. Let's take a moment to acknowledge everyone who helps create a happier and healthier work environment! #ReadyReliableCare

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Deference to Expertise


Suggested social media message: Each of us at [facility name] is a problem solver, sharing relevant knowledge and experience to create the best possible solutions. Thank a colleague or staff member who you recently Deferred to for Expertise! #ReadyReliableCare

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Reluctance to Simplify


Suggested social media message: With each patient visit, [facility name] staff are Reluctant to Simplify by working to understand the complexities of our patients' unique wants and needs. Take a moment to recognize a colleague or staff member who has shown outstanding Reluctance to Simplify in their work! #ReadyReliableCare

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Preoccupation with Failure


Suggested social media message: [facility name] teams work together to anticipate risks in our current processes and find better solutions. Thank you all for improving our care through Preoccupation with Failure. #ReadyReliableCare

Ready Reliable Care Screensaver Preoccupation with Failure


Uses a “High Reliability Checkpoint” to encourage staff to apply Preoccupation with Failure in their daily work.

Ready Reliable Care Social Media Graphic Commitment to Resilience


Suggested social media message: We are constantly learning from our experiences combating the COVID-19 pandemic and building a stronger [facility name] because of it. Through this Commitment to Resilience, we have improved our processes for the future. #ReadyReliableCare

Improve Communication with the Ready Reliable Care Safety Communication Bundle Poster


Encourages staff to use the Ready Reliable Care Safety Communication Bundle practices to improve team communication.

Ready Reliable Care Overview


Describes the purpose, mission, and scope of Ready Reliable Care, as well as its associated domains of change and principles. Features an abridged timeline of MHS achievements in access to care, patient safety, quality of care, transparency, and patient and provider experience.

Ready Reliable Care in Action Health Care Providers and Clinical Staff Flyer


Teaches MHS providers and clinical staff how to actively contribute to a ready, reliable MHS by showing what the seven principles look like in the context of daily work.

Ready Reliable Care Placemat


Provides an overview of Ready Reliable Care and explain how this effort supports the MHS Quadruple Aim. Shows where the MHS has been in its high reliability journey and where it is headed.

Ready Reliable Care in Action Administrative Management and Business Operations Staff Flyer


Shows how the Ready Reliable Care principles can be applied in the daily work of all MHS personnel, including those supporting logistics, facilities and operations, IT, human resources, management, research and development, as well as training and education.

Ready Reliable Care Timeline Placemat


Provides a snapshot of key milestones the MHS achieved along its journey to advance high reliability. Highlights significant advancements since the MHS Review across access to care, patient safety, quality of care, transparency, and patient and provider experience.

MHS Clinical Communities Overview


Introduces the MHS Clinical Communities and their role in driving continuous process improvement across the MHS. Illustrates how communities identify, shape, and spread innovative solutions, and showcases several MHS Clinical Community initiatives.

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Last Updated: January 13, 2023
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