HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Kaboli PJ, Miake-Lye IM, Ruser C, Yano EM, Orshansky G, Rubenstein L, Curtis I, Kirsh S, Hempel S. Sequelae of an Evidence-based Approach to Management for Access to Care in the Veterans Health Administration. Medical care. 2019 Oct 1; 57 Suppl 10 Suppl 3:S213-S220.
Access to health care is a critical concept in the design, delivery, and evaluation of high quality care. Meaningful evaluation of access requires research evidence and the integration of perspectives of patients, providers, and administrators.
Because of high-profile access challenges, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) invested in research and implemented initiatives to address access management. We describe a 2-year evidence-based approach to improving access in primary care.
The approach included an Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) report, a 22-site in-person qualitative evaluation of VA initiatives, and in-person and online stakeholder panel meetings facilitated by the RAND corporation. Subsequent work products were disseminated in a targeted strategy to increase impact on policy and practice.
The ESP report summarized existing research evidence in primary care management and an evaluation of ongoing initiatives provided organizational data and novel metrics. The stakeholder panel served as a source of insights and information, as well as a knowledge dissemination vector. Work products included the ESP report, a RAND report, peer-reviewed manuscripts, presentations at key conferences, and training materials for VA Group Practice Managers. Resulting policy and practice implications are discussed.
The commissioning of an evidence report was the beginning of a cascade of work including exploration of unanswered questions, novel research and measurement discoveries, and policy changes and innovation. These results demonstrate what can be achieved in a learning health care system that employs evidence and expertise to address complex issues such as access management.