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Developing and sustaining quality improvement partnerships in the VA: the Colorectal Cancer Care Collaborative.

Jackson GL, Powell AA, Ordin DL, Schlosser JE, Murawsky J, Hersh J, Ponte G, Zullig LL, Erb F, Parlier R, Haggstrom DA, Koets N, Mills PD, Francis J, Kelley MJ, Davies ML, Provenzale D, VA Colorectal Cancer Care Planning Committee Members. Developing and sustaining quality improvement partnerships in the VA: the Colorectal Cancer Care Collaborative. Journal of general internal medicine. 2010 Jan 1; 25 Suppl 1:38-43.

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OBJECTIVE: The Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) seeks to develop partnerships between VA health services researchers and clinical managers, with the goal of designing and evaluating interventions to improve the quality of VA health care. METHODS: In the present report we describe one such initiative aimed at enhancing the continuum of colorectal cancer (CRC) care, including diagnosis, treatment and surveillance-the Colorectal Cancer Care Collaborative (C4). RESULTS: We describe the process and thinking that led to two parallel quality improvement "collaboratives" that addressed (1) CRC screening and diagnostic follow-up and (2) the guideline concordance and timeliness of CRC treatment. Additionally, we discuss ongoing effort to spread lessons learned during the first stages of the project, which initially occurred at only a subset of VA facilities, throughout the VA health care system. The description of this initiative is organized around key questions that must be answered when developing, sustaining and spreading multi-component quality improvement interventions. CONCLUSION: We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned that we believe would apply to similar initiatives elsewhere, even if they address different clinical issues in health care settings with different organizational structures.

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