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Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

QUERI E-news
September 2021

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Director's Letter

QUERI Responds to Continuing Health Crises

“How are you doing, given everything?” That question is increasingly common given the recent events in Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti, and other regions, continued uncertainty from COVID, and general uncertainty and anxiety in a changing world. The number of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line appears to have increased, reminding us again that the wounds of war can be reopened for many due to recent events.

QUERI investigators continue to support our Veterans through rapid and rigorous implementation evaluation. Notably, investigators from Bridge, Function and CARRIAGE QUERI Programs joined forces to form the first QUERI Rapid Response Team to evaluate the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in VA, informing more tailored messages to different Veteran groups. 2020 HSR&D Under Secretary Awardee Donna Washington, MD, MPH, FACP, and her team are working with VA’s Office of Health Equity (OHE) to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 on racial/ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups within VA. In addition, RIVET QUERI is examining the implementation and outcomes of the COVID-19 PHI (Preventive Health Initiative) templated note to help ensure Veterans don’t miss out on important preventive care.

The ability of our QUERI investigators to rapidly respond to emerging health crises is bolstered by our national network of Centers that have deep lines of expertise and extensive, multi-level partnerships with VA leaders and providers. At the same time, QUERI Centers go beyond the headlines and through implementation, evaluation, and quality improvement methods, to help shape programs and policies. Featured in this issue are recently launched partnered evaluations that are tackling systemwide issues, such as how to better implement precision medicine in the VA healthcare system, preparing providers for VA’s electronic health record modernization (EHRM) via the Cerner transition, and supporting facilities in the more effective implementation of virtual care for pain management for Veterans.

Looking ahead, QUERI continues to support our Veterans by implementing and evaluating programs to better serve them, and in doing so, helping to ensure continuous improvements over time by responding to emerging issues, while also laying the groundwork for long-term impacts. Personally, I am amazed every day by what our investigators and providers continue to do despite everything that is going on in the world. You are essential to VA, and I want to thank you for helping to improve the health and lives of our Veterans.

Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH
Director, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

Melissa Braganza, MPH
QUERI Program Manager

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