QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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Evaluating VA Patient-Centered Care: Patient, Provider, and Organizational Views

Bedford and Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA

Whole Health is an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and well-being, and to live their life to the fullest. VA’s Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation (OPCC&CT) is leading the way to transform care to a Whole Health approach for Veterans and their families. The Center for Evaluating Patient-Centered Care (EPCC), now in its sixth year, was formed to assist OPCC&CT with the evaluation of this transformation. EPCC’s evaluation has evolved as OPCC&CT’s mission has matured from implementing wide ranging patient-centered care interventions to implementing the Whole Health System of care (WHS) as a key component of a high performing healthcare network. 

Beginning in fiscal year 2018, EPCC began focusing on examining the WHS at 18 flagship sites across the VA healthcare system—a large-scale three-year evaluation in response to the Comprehensive Addictions and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016. The goal of this national partnered evaluation initiative is to better understand the implementation and impact of the Whole Health System of care on key stakeholders at the 18 flagship sites.  Specific objectives include:

  • Examining variation in implementation across medical centers qualitatively;
  • Measuring the impact of the WHS on patient reported outcomes and clinical outcomes for patients with chronic pain;
  • Determining the cost of various WHS components at flagship sites, as well as tracking potential accompanying changes in utilization; and
  • Assessing the impact of implementing WHS on employee experience at each medical center.

The Center for Evaluating Patient-Centered Care is working with OPCC&CT to inform the implementation of Whole Health System, sharing milestones and cost/utilization indicators with sites on a real-time basis. The results of this evaluation will be included in the 2020 CARA report to Congress on the potential impact of the Whole Health System if implemented nationally across VA. 

Corresponding Principal Investigator: Barbara Bokhour, PhD; Barbara.Bokhour@va.gov

Operational Partner: VA’s Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation (OPCC&CT), which “works with VA leadership and healthcare providers to transform VA’s healthcare system from the traditional medical model, which focuses on treating specific issues, to a personalized, proactive, patient-driven model that promotes Whole Health for Veterans and their families.”