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QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

What's New with QUERI

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What's New with QUERI

QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative: Increasing Access via Virtual Health Interventions

Access to care remains a top priority for the VA, particularly after Congress passed the Veterans’ Access Choice and Accountability Act (VACAA), which significantly reorganized the delivery of VA healthcare by allowing Veterans to go outside VA, as well as implementing the clinical management training program. This new program implements a team of clinicians and administrators at each VA medical center to monitor and expand outpatient access. A key focus for the clinical management program has been the implementation of the myVA Access initiative. This initiative was one of Secretary Shulkin’s key priorities when he was the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health. A key focus of myVA Access was to increase access to virtual health interventions.

HSR&D’s Partnered Evaluation for the Clinical Management Training Program/Center for Access Policy Evaluation and Research (CAPER), led by Julia Prentice, PhD, rigorously evaluates these access initiatives in collaboration with VA Clinical Operations. Specifically, CAPER investigators

  • Evaluate the national administrative data tools used to measure access,
  • Assess clinic practice management policies,
  • Examine staffing capacity across clinic operations, and
  • Identify the impact of novel virtual health interventions focused on increasing access.

Virtual Health Interventions

CAPER QUERI will conduct a randomized program evaluation of virtual health technology that will assess the causal relationship between the implementation of mobile health solutions and access to care. Specifically, two mobile applications focused on increasing access to limited dermatology resources will be implemented. The first mobile application targeted for primary care clinics will significantly simplify the teledermatology consult request process, encouraging the adoption of consults that can be done virtually versus an office visit. The second application is a patient facing app that will allow Veterans to follow-up with dermatologists remotely. This increase in virtual health technology for dermatology is expected to shorten wait times for dermatology and decrease travel time and costs for Veterans. The randomized program evaluation design will allow CAPER to assess the causal relationship between the implementation of each mobile application and access to care.

CAPER’s Operation Partners

The Office of Veterans Access to Care, under the Deputy Under Secretary for Operations and Management, oversees key functions of clinical operations. These functions include improving outpatient clinic access, monitoring clinical consults, telephone contact and management, determining and implementing scheduling policies, and leading the acquisition of scheduling information technology. The Office of Connected Care expands access for Veterans beyond the traditional outpatient visit by developing virtual health technologies.

For more information, please contact Julia Prentice, PhD, at .

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