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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: The Aging Veteran | Table of Contents: Summer 2017 | Download this issue

New Initiatives | Announcements

Quality dashboard for VA-contracted community nursing home care


Nursing home care for Veterans can potentially be monitored using a new quality dashboard in development by QUERI researchers. <em>(Photo for illustrative purposes only, ©iStock/Squaredpixels)</em>
Nursing home care for Veterans can potentially be monitored using a new quality dashboard in development by QUERI researchers. (Photo for illustrative purposes only, ©iStock/Squaredpixels)

Nursing home care for Veterans can potentially be monitored using a new quality dashboard in development by QUERI researchers. (Photo for illustrative purposes only, ©iStock/Squaredpixels)

VA's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) aims to support "the needs of a changing VA healthcare system, notably by supporting providers in the more rapid implementation of effective clinical practices into routine care."

To do that, the program funds research into implementation science and quality-care initiatives to help bring cutting-edge science into the exam room, so that Veterans have access to the latest and most innovative treatments available. "In essence, QUERI ensures that effective treatments get off the academic shelf and into the hands of Veterans and their providers quickly," said Dr. Amy Kilbourne, director of QUERI.

The programs that QUERI has spearheaded are diverse, and range from team-based behavioral care, implementing care conversations with Veterans in long-term care, enhancing health care for women Vets, and optimizing appropriate medication use for Veterans, to name just a few.

It also engages in partnered evaluation initiatives where funding comes from a third party, to analyze initiatives that could potentially have high impact on VA policy.

Disseminating a dashboard for VA purchased community nursing homes is one such initiative based out of Providence, Rhode Island. The initiative seeks to assess and improve the quality of care that Veterans receive in community nursing homes (CNH). The VA Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) Data and Analysis Center has created a dashboard that will allow facility leadership to assess care in VA-contracted community nursing homes using nationally published metrics.

The dashboard uses the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home Compare five-star quality rating system. The CMS website—which is open to the public—collects and compiles data from onsite inspections, quality measures, and staffing levels at nursing homes across the U.S. The dashboard also allows comparisons between other nursing homes in the VA health care system.

Investigators will assess VA nursing home selection and monitoring by interviewing contracting officials and GEC leaders. In addition to evaluating the usefulness of the quality dashboard, they will create an educational module to improve the CNH selection process.

**Listen to Mitch Mirkin of VA Research Communications interview Dr. Amy Kilbourne, director of QUERI, about the program's history and current work and how it is impacting Veterans' care. Listen (23:01), Transcript


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