JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON, TX - The U.S. Army Medical Command recently announced the winners of the 2017 MEDCOM High Reliability (HRO) Unit-Based Safety Huddle Competition.

The winners are as follows:

1st Place - Clinical Unit: Surgical Services - General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (ACH)

1st Place - Non-Clinical Unit: Department of Quality Management (DQM) - General Leonard Wood (ACH)

Runner-Up - Clinical Unit: 2N Surgical Unit - Womack Army Medical Center (AMC), Fort Bragg

Runner-Up - Non-Clinical Unit: Commander's Safety Huddle - Womack AMC, Fort Bragg

Honorable Mention - Clinical Unit: 618th Dental Company, Yongsan, Korea

Honorable Mention - Non-Clinical Unit: Quality & Safety Leadership Huddle -Bassett (ACH), Fort Wainwright, Alaska

There were also 13 Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) with multiple submissions showing a hospital-wide engagement. Of these 13 MTFs, one was selected that best exemplified the HRO huddle principles and leadership engagement.

The Winner for Best Overall MTF Team Huddle Engagement was Winn (ACH), Fort Stewart, Georgia.

According to Maj. Gen. Patrick Sargent, Deputy Commanding General -- Operations, U.S. Army Medical Command, "The HRO Task Force received 73 stellar examples of Unit Safety Huddles in Action, from MTFs large and small, medical and dental, inpatient and outpatient, clinical and administrative and MRMC. The incredible display of these daily safety-focused huddles convinces me we are making progress in becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO)."

Since 2014, Army Medicine, in close coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD), has been on a journey to transform the Military Health System (MHS) -- a global, comprehensive, integrated system that includes combat medical services, force health readiness, a health care delivery system, public health activities, medical education and training, and medical research and development--to a high reliability organization (HRO).

The concept of high reliability was developed in industries such as aviation and nuclear power where even rare errors could have disastrous results. What distinguishes the concept of "high reliability" is not a specific organizational structure (as organizations differ in mission, size, and governance), measures, or even protocols. Rather it is a single-minded focus by the entire workforce on identifying potential problems and high-risk situations before they lead to an adverse event. HROs, in general, are those where harm prevention and performance improvement are second nature to all in the organization.