QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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QUERI for Team-Based Behavioral Health

North Little Rock, AR and Boston, MA

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The evidence is clear: team-based behavioral healthcare improves outcomes and satisfaction for individuals with mental health conditions. However, healthcare teams do not develop naturally and require targeted support to form, function effectively, and be sustained. Using facilitation techniques and common measures, this QUERI Program will enhance and inform team-based care for Veterans with behavioral health conditions. Specific aims include:

  • Understand and enhance coordination, quality, equity, and outcomes of care for Veterans treated within interdisciplinary VA treatment teams and via shared care across healthcare disciplines;
  • Advance measurement-based care delivery strategies that enhance personalized, proactive, and patient-driven care for Veterans; and
  • Apply implementation methods by developing, evaluating, and refining new tools and resources to support the use of facilitation to implement clinical programs and practices that are responsive to VA priorities.

Findings and Expected Impacts:

The Tele-Mental Health (TMH) project addressed a VISN 20 request to develop a process to implement Tele-Mental Health programs in rural community-based outpatient clinics that comply with VA Telehealth Conditions of Participation. Among other impacts, the project team developed, piloted and disseminated a tele-mental health Implementation Checklist, now available to the four TMH Regional Hubs established by the VA Office of Rural Health.

The Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program (BHIP) project is testing the impact of external facilitation for implementing BHIP teams based on evidence-based collaborative care models. In FY2017, BHIP investigators partnered with the Office of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention to train senior Transformational Coaches, who now serve as external facilitators to scale-up and spread evidence-based BHIP teams using the model and methods developed in this project.

The Peers in PACT (PEER) project is evaluating the use of external facilitation to support the implementation of Peer Specialists on VA Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) in primary care. Through FY2017, Peer Specialists had delivered a total of 10,985 encounters to 4,247 Veterans across the VA 25 sites participating in the project. Peer Specialists in this project also are supporting the Whole Health initiative as it rolls out in enrolled sites.

Principal Investigators:
JoAnn E. Kirchner, MD, (JoAnn.Kirchner@va.gov) and Mark S. Bauer, MD, (Mark.Bauer@va.gov)

Operations Partner(s): VA Patient Care Services (Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, Primary Care, Public Health), and the Office of Health Equity.