HSR&D Investigator Contributes to 2023 Shark Tank Promising Practice
November 29, 2023
Lauren Abbate, MD
Lauren Abbate, MD, clinician-investigator with VA HSR&D’s Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation, was a senior investigator for the Supporting Community Outpatient, Urgent care & Telehealth Services (SCOUTS) program, which was one of the final 10 Promising Practices chosen in VA’s 2023 Shark Tank Competition.
The SCOUTS program seeks to address the digital divide and unmet healthcare needs via a unique post-emergency department (ED) follow-up home visit and telehealth-supported program. SCOUTS leverages the use of Intermediate Care Technicians (ICTs)—Veterans who are former military medics. ICTs conduct follow-up telephone or home visits during which they identify “what matters” to the patient. They also perform geriatric screens aligned with Age-Friendly Health Systems, observe home safety risks, assist with video telehealth check-ins with ED providers, and provide care coordination. SCOUTS visit data are all recorded in VA’s electronic medical record, providing a robust account of the Veterans’ health status post-ED.
The SCOUTS program is affiliated with the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Cleveland, and was led by investigator Colleen M. McQuown, MD, with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Stokes VAMC.
The annual Shark Tank Competition identifies innovative, field-developed practices that promote positive outcomes and improve experiences for Veterans and VA employees, then facilitates the standardization of those practices across the VA healthcare system.