The Value in Having VISN Level Clinical Surveillance

When evaluating clinical surveillance solutions for hospitals, one key dimension to consider is the ability to do network wide surveillance and reporting (or the VISN level in the VA system), in addition to the level of the individual hospital. We spoke about this with Dr. Russell Ryono, who has over 30 years of experience as an infection preventionist and pharmacist at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and who now oversees Bitscopic’s team of clinical subject matter experts.


Question: What are some potential advantages and capabilities gained by having VISN level implementation of clinical surveillance software? 

Answer: I see 5 major advantages to having VISN level reporting available:

  1. It broadens the range of facility-level data immediately available to VISN-level staff/teams (e.g., healthcare-acquired infection rates, antimicrobial usage, antibiotic resistance patterns, COVID-19 infections, COVID-19 vaccinations, outcome measures, etc.)
  2. The VISN is provided with direct access to view the data/reports of interest saves time by eliminating the need for individual facilities from having to create and send separate “status reports” to the VISN
  3. The VISN will have more “up-to-date” report data (i.e., no need to wait until the end of the month)
  4. VISN-level staff/team can easily view each of the reports/charts by individual facilities or combine in groups (eliminates the need to “combine” spreadsheets)
  5. The VISN can quickly assess the scope of new, unexpected problems (e.g., quickly identifying potential patients within the VISN who may have been exposed to a contaminated drug product and even identifying a subset of patients who received the drug and had a positive culture for the contaminating organism if known).

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