HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Changes in Primary Care Quality Associated With Implementation of the Veterans Health Administration Preventive Health Inventory.
Wheat CL, Wheat CL, Gunnink EJ, Gunnink EJ, Rojas J, Rojas J, Shah A, Shah A, Nelson KM, Nelson KM, Wong ES, Gray KE, Gray KE, Stockdale SE, Stockdale SE, Rosland AM, Rosland AM, Chang ET, Chang ET, Reddy A, Reddy A. Changes in Primary Care Quality Associated With Implementation of the Veterans Health Administration Preventive Health Inventory. JAMA Network Open. 2023 Apr 3; 6(4):e238525.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions in primary care delivery. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) launched the Preventive Health Inventory (PHI) program-a multicomponent care management intervention, including a clinical dashboard and templated electronic health record note-to support primary care in delivering chronic disease care and preventive care that had been delayed by the pandemic.
To describe patient, clinician, and clinic correlates of PHI use in primary care clinics and to examine associations between PHI adoption and clinical quality measures.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
This quality improvement study used VHA administrative data from February 1, 2021, through February 28, 2022, from a national cohort of 216 VHA primary care clinics that have implemented the PHI. Participants comprised 829 527 veterans enrolled in primary care in clinics with the highest and lowest decile of PHI use as of February 2021.
Templated electronic health record note documenting use of the PHI.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Diabetes and blood pressure clinical quality measures were the primary outcomes. Interrupted time series models were applied to estimate changes in diabetes and hypertension quality measures associated with PHI implementation. Low vs high PHI use was stratified at the facility level to measure whether systematic differences in uptake were associated with quality.
A total of 216 primary clinics caring for 829 527 unique veterans (mean [SD] age, 64.1 [16.9] years; 755 158 of 829 527 [91%] were men) formed the study cohort. Use of the PHI varied considerably across clinics. The clinics in the highest decile of PHI use completed a mean (SD) of 32 997.4 (14 019.3) notes in the electronic health record per 100 000 veterans compared with 56.5 (35.3) notes per 100 000 veterans at the clinics in the lowest decile of use (P < .001). Compared with the clinics with the lowest use of the PHI, clinics with the highest use had a larger mean (SD) clinic size (12 072  patients vs 5713  patients; P < .001), were more likely to be urban (91% vs 57%; P < .001), and served more non-Hispanic Black veterans (16% vs 5%; P < .001) and Hispanic veterans (14% vs 4%; P < .001). Staffing did not differ meaningfully between high- and low-use clinics (mean [SD] ratio of full-time equivalent staff to clinician, 3.4 [1.2] vs 3.4 [0.8], respectively; P < .001). After PHI implementation, compared with the clinics with the lowest use, those with the highest use had fewer veterans with a hemoglobin A1c greater than 9% or missing (mean [SD], 6577  per 100 000 veterans at low-use clinics; 9928  per 100 000 veterans at high-use clinics), more veterans with an annual hemoglobin A1c measurement (mean [SD], 13 181  per 100 000 veterans at high-use clinics; 8307  per 100 000 veterans at low-use clinics), and more veterans with adequate blood pressure control (mean [SD], 20 582 [12 201] per 100 000 veterans at high-use clinics; 12 276  per 100 000 veterans at low-use clinics).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
This quality improvement study of the implementation of the VHA PHI suggests that higher use of a multicomponent care management intervention was associated with improved quality-of-care metrics. The study also found significant variation in PHI uptake, with higher uptake associated with clinics with more racial and ethnic diversity and larger, urban clinic sites.