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VA Health Systems Research

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COIN: Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuESt); Houston, TX

Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety

Director: Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.


About the COIN

The mission of IQuESt is improve health and well-being in healthcare delivery through:

  • Innovation—conducting research on healthcare delivery that impacts policy, practice and the health of patients and populations.
  • Implementation—disseminating and implementing innovations in healthcare delivery.
  • Mentorship—Training and mentoring researchers and leaders in healthcare delivery science.

Research Focus Areas

IQuESt’s work is very broad, but specific focus areas include:

  1. Developing and implementing pragmatic, integrated behavioral health interventions for persons with chronic medical illnesses.
  2. Developing pragmatic approaches for measurement and improvement of diagnostic safety.
  3. Developing new measures and novel analytic approaches for measurement of health care quality for improvement at the individual, facility, and population health level.

Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs)

The Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs) program is a new HSR&D funding mechanism that gives researchers the opportunity to pursue a five-year impact goal. Each RIVR impact goal aligns with VA priority areas including VA legislative priorities (e.g., MISSION Act); cross-cutting ORD priorities (e.g. PTSD); other HSR&D defined clinical priorities (e.g. Health Equity); and HSR&D methodological priorities (e.g. Data Sciences, Implementation Sciences, Systems Engineering). Impact goals for RIVRS could include changes in VA policy or clinical guidelines, spread of operational processes across VISNs, scaling of an effective intervention to 2-3 additional sites, advancements in health services research methods, or any other impacts that have real-world effects on Veteran health and satisfaction.

Current RIVR project

Creating Practice-Ready Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for VA Primary Care and Specialty Medical Settings

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Cully, PhD

The overall impact goal of this project is two-fold: 1) to transfer research-developed evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) into practice-ready EBPs for use in VHA primary care and specialty medical settings within VISNs 16 and 17, and 2) to create a generalizable implementation approach that can be used for future, Veteran-facing EBPs. This goal will be accomplished using the following: 1) development of a robust Steering Committee to align and increase the feasibility and impact of the proposed practice-ready implementation efforts; 2) development of training materials and implementation guides to support EBP practices; 3) development of a practical, and likely multifaceted, EBP implementation strategy to support frontline VHA providers; and 4) development of a mixed-method evaluation plan to collect preliminary outcome data and inform modifications to the implementation strategy over time.

Programs and Structure

IQuESt is organized into four scientific programs, and the goal of each program is to provide outstanding leadership and scholarship to produce the best science in its area of emphasis, while collaborating effectively across programs. Program areas are:

  • Health Decision-Making & Communication
  • Clinical Epidemiology & Comparative Effectiveness
  • Behavioral Health & Implementation
  • Health Policy, Quality & Informatics

These scientific programs are supported by four functional core teams:

  • Implementation Science & Innovations
  • Methodology & Statistics
  • Administration & Operations
  • Education & Training

Partner Offices

Each COIN works closely with operational partners throughout the VA healthcare system. IQuESt partners include:

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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.