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Women’s Health Care Delivery and Quality of Care: Effectively Integrating Women Veterans into the Mindset of QUERI Stakeholders.

Yano EM, Bean-Mayberry B, Hayes P, Wright S, Washington DL. Women’s Health Care Delivery and Quality of Care: Effectively Integrating Women Veterans into the Mindset of QUERI Stakeholders. Presented at: VA QUERI National Meeting; 2008 Dec 11; Phoenix, AZ.


Objectives: Women's participation in the military has changed the demographics of the veterans we serve. Women now represent 15% of active duty, 20% of new recruits, and 17% of reserve and National Guard forces. They are now among the fastest growing segment of new users of the VA health care system, with surprisingly high enrollment among OEF/OIF veterans placing unexpected numbers of women into VA facilities. Historically, however, women veterans have been an extreme numerical minority in VA settings, which has resulted in a workforce with limited clinical expertise and exposure to their complex health care needs. Their small numbers have also created challenges to effectively integrating them into QI research efforts. The objectives of this workshop are to: 1) Educate QUERI researchers and system partners about what is known about how women veterans use the VA, their physical and mental health disease burdens, and how VA health care is organized to meet their needs; 2) Report on gender disparities in VA performance measures; 3) Highlight recent activities launched by the Women Veterans Strategic Healthcare Group (WVSHG); and 4) Discuss approaches to ensuring the representation of women veterans in QUERI programs, and to consider the design of new initiatives focused on quality gaps. Activities: Workshop leaders will include experienced VA women's health services researchers who have led much of the foundational work to understand variations in women veterans' care, as well as senior leadership in the Women Veteran Strategic Healthcare Group (Hayes) and Office of Quality and Performance (Wright). Workshop leaders will begin with brief didactic segments on the evidence base for VA women's health care. Dr. Wright will present results of new analyses demonstrating gender disparities in VA quality. Dr. Hayes will provide an overview of new WVSHG initiatives, including priority areas for quality improvement. Workshop leaders will then engage audience participation in an open discussion of the challenges and potential solutions for increasing our inclusion of women and women's clinical programs in future QUERI agendas. Target Audience: The target audience is QUERI investigators and healthcare system partners engaged in quality improvement. Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic: Participants do not require any special knowledge of women's health issues.

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