Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Learning from national implementation of the Veterans Affairs Clinical Resource Hub (CRH) program for improving access to care: protocol for a six year evaluation.

Rubenstein LV, Curtis I, Wheat CL, Grembowski DE, Stockdale SE, Kaboli PJ, Yoon J, Felker BL, Reddy AS, Nelson KM. Learning from national implementation of the Veterans Affairs Clinical Resource Hub (CRH) program for improving access to care: protocol for a six year evaluation. BMC health services research. 2023 Jul 25; 23(1):790.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: The Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinical Resource Hub (CRH) program aims to improve patient access to care by implementing time-limited, regionally based primary or mental health staffing support to cover local staffing vacancies. VA''s Office of Primary Care (OPC) designed CRH to support more than 1000 geographically disparate VA outpatient sites, many of which are in rural areas, by providing virtual contingency clinical staffing for sites experiencing primary care and mental health staffing deficits. The subsequently funded CRH evaluation, carried out by the VA Primary Care Analytics Team (PCAT), partnered with CRH program leaders and evaluation stakeholders to develop a protocol for a six-year CRH evaluation. The objectives for developing the CRH evaluation protocol were to prospectively: 1) identify the outcomes CRH aimed to achieve, and the key program elements designed to achieve them; 2) specify evaluation designs and data collection approaches for assessing CRH progress and success; and 3) guide the activities of five geographically dispersed evaluation teams. METHODS: The protocol documents a multi-method CRH program evaluation design with qualitative and quantitative elements. The evaluation''s overall goal is to assess CRH''s return on investment to the VA and Veterans at six years through synthesis of findings on program effectiveness. The evaluation includes both observational and quasi-experimental elements reflecting impacts at the national, regional, outpatient site, and patient levels. The protocol is based on program evaluation theory, implementation science frameworks, literature on contingency staffing, and iterative review and revision by both research and clinical operations partners. DISCUSSION: Health systems increasingly seek to use data to guide management and decision-making for newly implemented clinical programs and policies. Approaches for planning evaluations to accomplish this goal, however, are not well-established. By publishing the protocol, we aim to increase the validity and usefulness of subsequent evaluation findings. We also aim to provide an example of a program evaluation protocol developed within a learning health systems partnership.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.