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VA Health Systems Research

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COIN: Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center; West Haven, CT

Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center

Director: Lori A. Bastian, MD MPH

About the Center

The overarching goals of the PRIME Center are to improve clinical practice and Veterans’ health by aligning health services research with clinical priority goals; conducting rapid and efficient studies; and leveraging existing data to evaluate innovations and best practices.

Mission. To study the interactions between medical and behavioral health factors to develop and implement interventions that can improve health by employing medical informatics, behavioral science, implementation science, and health systems research.

Purpose. To provide leadership within and outside VA to foster high quality, high impact, and Veteran-centered health systems research and education.

Goals and Research Focus Areas

The PRIME Center plays a leadership role in pain and pain management within VA. The Center’s high-level goals are to:

  • Conduct research to improve care for Veterans with pain and associated chronic conditions;
  • Conduct research to improve women Veterans' health;
  • Foster innovative/emerging health services research outside the two focus areas;
  • Engage Veterans in all aspects of our strategic planning and research methods;
  • Establish a strong infrastructure that supports mentoring and career development, including partnered, system-oriented research and implementation research; and
  • Promote interdisciplinary, cross-institutional collaborations and research networks in priority areas.

The Center has the following focused areas of research:

  1. Pain Management and Opioids: Improving pain care for Veterans.
  2. Women’s Health: Improving health outcomes and delivery of care for women Veterans.
  3. Application of methods.

Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs)

The Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs) program is a HSR 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 defined clinical priorities (e.g. Health Equity); and HSR 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

Research to Advance Patient-Driven Health Care for Women Veterans

Principal Investigator: Sally Haskell MD, MS

The 5-year impact goal of this project is to improve care for women Veterans through the development and testing of a sex-specific complexity tool that alerts providers to request care coordination services (defined on a continuum that includes PACT care managers, care coordination, and case management). Investigators will accomplish this through development and implementation of a complexity measure that will be used to identify the population of women Veterans with complex medical/psychosocial comorbidities and direct them to higher levels of care coordination services to mitigate adverse medical (e.g., diabetes, COPD, hypertension) and mental health outcomes (including suicide risk), higher utilization of resources, and improve provider access and satisfaction. Investigators will monitor progress through implementation of the measure in pilot sites to determine if the measure improves health outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction, and quality of care, and will leverage the VA Women’s Health Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) and the advanced fellowships in women’s health and medical informatics to disseminate and expand implementation of the tool.

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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.