Evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration's Specialty Care Transformational Initiatives to Promote Patient-Centered Delivery of Specialty Care: A Mixed-Methods Approach

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INTRODUCTION: Veteran's Affairs Office of Specialty Care (OSC) launched four national initiatives (Electronic-Consults [e-Consults], Specialty Care Access Networks-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes [SCAN-ECHO], Mini-Residencies, and Specialty Care Neighborhood) to improve specialty care delivery and funded a center to evaluate the initiatives.

METHODS: The evaluation, guided by two implementation frameworks, provides formative (administrator/provider interviews and surveys) and summative data (quantitative data on patterns of use) about the initiatives to OSC.

RESULTS: Evaluation of initiative implementation is assessed through CFIR (Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research)-grounded qualitative interviews to identify barriers/facilitators. Depending on high or low implementation, factors such as receiving workload credit, protected time, existing workflow/systems compatibility, leadership engagement, and access to information/resources were considered implementation barriers or facilitators. Findings were shared with OSC and used to further refine implementation at additional sites. Evaluation of other initiatives is ongoing.

CONCLUSIONS: The mixed-methods approach has provided timely information to OSC about initiative effect and impacted OSC policies on implementation at additional sites.