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2015 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3115 — Developing a Toolkit to Assist in the Implementation of Clinical Video Telehealth into the Home for Mental Health Providers: A Formative Evaluation

Larsen J, South Central MIRECC & OKC VAMC; Sorocco K, South Central MIRECC & OKC VAMC; Martin L, South Central MIRECC & IQuEST Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Lindsay J, South Central MIRECC & IQuEST Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Henderson K, South Central MIRECC & Mental Health QUERI;

The advent of Clinical Video Telehealth into the Home (CVT-H) in the mental health care arena opened new avenues for provider-patient engagement in the VA health care system. CVT-H technology enables Veterans to interface with their mental health providers from their home computers or tablets. Past research has shown that CVT-H is associated with increased patient satisfaction and reduced costs, yet the technology has not been widely adopted by VA mental health care providers. Providing training in CVT-H technology to safely and effectively utilize this system is one major barrier to implementation, as providers are traditionally trained in face-to-face patient encounters. This project develops and evaluates a novel toolkit to equip consumers (i.e. mental health providers and leadership) with the necessary skills and procedures to deliver mental health care to Veterans through CVT-H.

An expert panel with knowledge of the existing research on clinical video technologies and experience implementing CVT-H developed the content of the toolkit, which was then disseminated to consumers for field testing in two large metropolitan VA systems. We elicited consumer feedback through qualitative, semi-structured interviews designed to understand responses to the product. Interview data was analyzed through content analysis.

The toolkit is comprised of eight sections - background and instructions for use; directions for gaining certification; instructions on scheduling patients; troubleshooting technological problems; tips for engaging local leadership; recommendations for developing a community of practice; a resource list; and an implementation checklist. Interview findings regarding the utility and content of the toolkit will be presented and discussed.

The formative evaluation of this CVT-H toolkit is an emerging contribution in the context of rapidly-evolving, technologically-enhanced, VA mental health care services. The CVT-H Toolkit shows potential as a resource for enhancing future CVT-H implementations.

CVT-H technologies support a veteran-centered mental health system of care by reducing barriers and increasing access to mental health treatment. Rapid dissemination of CVT-H hinges on the adoption of safe and efficient practices by providers and key stakeholders. The development of a provider toolkit to support practice in this area will likely improve dissemination efforts of CVT-H.