A new progress report shows improvement in the lives of Veterans with chronic pain who use VA Whole Health services.
In 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to address the national opioid epidemic. The bill directs VA to address pain management for Veterans – and to conduct research on the implementation and impact of complementary and integrative health (CIH) and other approaches on the health and well-being of Veterans. In response, VA’s Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation formalized an approach to care called the Whole Health System of Care (WHS), incorporating patient-centered care and CIH. In FY2018, each VISN identified and funded a flagship site for a three-year pilot implementation of the WHS. The VA Center for the Evaluation of Patient Centered Care (EPCC): Whole Health Flagship Site Evaluation is a progress report on the implementation of the WHS at 18 flagship sites after two years. Early results show:
“These are early findings, but even so the opioid outcomes are striking, and we’re seeing this is good for employees and the system,” said Barbara Bokhour, PhD, Principal Investigator for the study, Co-Director of HSR&D’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), and Principal Investigator for the Evaluating VA’s Patient-Centered Care QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative. “This may take as many as 7-10 years to adopt a Whole Health approach across VA, and we have to ask, is this the way VA should go? Early findings are saying yes.”
Funding for this report was provided by VA HSR&D’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) and the Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.