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Randomized controlled trial of tailored audit with feedback in VHA long-term care settings.

Kononowech J, Scott W, Landis-Lewis Z, Sales AE. Randomized controlled trial of tailored audit with feedback in VHA long-term care settings. Implementation science communications. 2023 Oct 26; 4(1):129.

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BACKGROUND: The Long-Term Care QUERI program supported implementation of the Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Initiative in US Veterans Health Administration long-term care settings. The program worked with eleven Community Living Centers (CLCs) and twelve Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) programs to increase rates of completed templates, using audit with feedback. We distributed monthly feedback reports to site champions showing the number of Veterans with appropriate documentation. Although feedback reports are a common implementation tool, little is known about the most effective ways to design, distribute, and support them. We sought to test tailoring reports with tips using site-specific data, as well as national comparator data. METHODS: We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial of monthly feedback reports utilizing site-tailored tips and national comparator data compared to our original feedback reports that included only graphical and numerical data. CLC and HBPC team members were invited to participate in brief surveys each quarter to determine if they had received and used the feedback reports. The outcome for CLC residents was the percent with a completed LST template any time prior to the 14th day of their stay. The outcome for HBPC residents was the percent of Veterans with a completed LST template by their second HBPC visit. RESULTS: The response rate to the survey ranged between 6.8 and 19.3% of staff members across the CLC and HBPC sites with 12.8-25.5% of survey respondents reporting that they had seen the feedback reports. The linear regression models showed no significant association between receiving the enhanced feedback reports and having a higher documentation completion rate. CONCLUSIONS: Receiving feedback reports tailored to sites by including tips based on baseline context assessments and qualitative findings, and reports showing national comparator data, did not have an impact on the number of Veterans with a completed LST template. Having a higher proportion of CLC or HBPC team members view the reports was not associated with an increase in LST template completion. These findings suggest that tailored audit with feedback may not have been effective at the program level, although the proportion of respondents who reported seeing the reports was small.

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