Twenty-one hospitals across the five state Region Mid-America have come together to focus on improving clinical quality and patient safety by increasing the amount of time nurses have available at the patient's bedside. A VHA survey showed that nurses spend less than 30 percent of their time in direct patient care. 

The hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska have joined what's known as a Rapid Adoption Network (RAN), a virtual network that will allow them to share information about their clinical practices for the purpose of accelerating the pace of clinical improvement, cutting improvement time to less than one year.

The RAN is sponsored by VHA Inc., the national health care alliance. A unifying focal point for the RAN will be the clinical blueprint VHA has developed to help its members improve the patient experience, a broad objective that many hospitals are now focusing on more intensely as a result of both government and private payor mandates. This blueprint looks at issues, such as: involving the patient in goal setting, doing change of shift reporting at the bedside, hourly rounding, and use of communication boards.

According to a VHA press release, the hospitals in are working together on this project are: Anderson Hospital, Maryville, Illinois; Atchison, Atchison, Kansas; BryanLGH, Lincoln, Nebraska; Cushing Memorial Hospital, Leavenworth, Kansas; Decatur Memorial, Decatur, Illinois; Faith Regional, Norfolk, Nebraska; Freeman Health, Joplin, Missouri; Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital, Council Bluffs, Iowa; Labette Health, Parsons, Kansas; Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, Hastings, Nebraska; McDonough District Hospital, Macomb, Illinois; Memorial Bellville, Bellville, Illinois; Montgomery County, Red Oak, Iowa; Passavant Area Hospital, Jacksonville, Illinois; Pratt Regional, Pratt, Kansas; Saint Luke's South, Kansas City, Missouri; Saint Lukes Health System, Kansas City, Missouri; Saint Lukes Lee's Summit, Lee Summit, Missouri; Saint Lukes Northland, Kansas City, Missouri; Sarah Bush Lincoln, Matoon, Illinois; Skaggs, Branson, Missouri.

A Rapid Adoption Networks is one component of VHA's overall clinical improvement platform.