Health Services Research & Development

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Leonard C, Gilmartin H, McCreight M, Kelley L, Lippmann B, Mayberry A, Coy A, Lawrence E, Burke RE. Operationalizing an Implementation Framework to Disseminate a Care Coordination Program for Rural Veterans. Journal of general internal medicine. 2019 May 1; 34(Suppl 1):58-66.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Understanding how to successfully implement care coordination programs across diverse settings is critical for disseminating best practices. We describe how we operationalized the Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) to guide the assessment of local context prior to implementation of the rural Transitions Nurse Program (TNP) at five facilities across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). METHODS: We operationalized PRISM to create qualitative data collection techniques (interview guides, semi-structured observations, and a group brainwriting premortem) to assess local context, the current state of care coordination, and perceptions of TNP prior to implementation at five facilities. We analyzed data using deductive-inductive framework analysis to identify themes related to PRISM. We adapted implementation strategies at each site using these findings. RESULTS: We identified actionable themes within PRISM domains to address during implementation. The most commonly occurring PRISM domains were "organizational characteristics" and "implementation and sustainability infrastructure." Themes included a disconnect between primary care and hospital inpatient teams, concerns about work duplication, and concerns that one nurse could not meet the demand for the program. These themes informed TNP implementation. CONCLUSIONS: The use of PRISM for pre-implementation site assessments yielded important findings that guided adaptations to our implementation approach. Further, barriers and facilitators to TNP implementation may be common to other care coordination interventions. Generating a common language of barriers and facilitators in care coordination initiatives will enhance generalizability and establish best practices. IMPACT STATEMENTS: TNP is a national intensive care coordination program targeting rural Veterans. We operationalized PRISM to guide implementation efforts. We effectively elucidated facilitators, barriers, and unique contextual factors at diverse VHA facilities. The use of PRISM enhances the generalizability of findings across care settings and may optimize implementation of care coordination interventions in the VHA.