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HSR&D Investigator Receives Certificate of Appreciation for Public Health Communication Research in Patient Safety

March 25, 2014

 A. Rani Elwy, Ph.D., M.Sc., (left)recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from Robert Jesse, M.D., Ph.D., VA's Principal Deputy  Under Secretary for Health (right)

A. Rani Elwy, Ph.D., M.Sc., (left)recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from Robert Jesse, M.D., Ph.D., VA's Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health (right)

A. Rani Elwy, Ph.D., M.Sc., recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from Robert Jesse, M.D., Ph.D., VA's Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, for her work on an HSR&D study titled " Veteran and Staff Perceptions of VHA Large-Scale Adverse Event Communications ." The Certificate acknowledges "excellence in research," and states that the project "embodied the highest ideals of the Department of Veterans Affairs..." and commends Dr. Elwy for her "...contributions on behalf of our Nation's Veterans."

This ongoing study examines how VA discloses information to Veterans and other stakeholders after safety incidents occur at VA facilities. In collaboration with VA's Clinical Public Health and the Office of the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, investigators are working to create strategies for how VA can work with media and elected officials following large-scale adverse event (LSAE) disclosures; for example, informing patients and other stakeholders that medical equipment was not properly sterilized before use and may cause the spread of infection among patients–and that patients should return to VA facilities for follow-up testing. Study investigators have conducted interviews with Veterans and their families, VA staff and leadership at nine facilities (n=97) to determine which communication went well during recent LSAEs, as well as what needs improvement for the future. Moreover, they have examined the unintended consequences of adverse event disclosures by analyzing cost and healthcare utilization data from past LSAEs. Investigators plan to develop a disclosure toolkit that can be implemented by medical center leadership for use in future LSAEs.

Dr. Elwy is co-Implementation Research Coordinator for VA/HSR&D's HIV/Hepatitis Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (HH-QUERI) and is an investigator in HSR&D's Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR) located in Bedford, MA.