An HIV Collaborative in the VHA

Do Advanced HIT and One-Day Sessions Change the Collaborative Experience?

Published In: Joint Commission Journal On quality and Patient Safety, v. 32, no. 6, June 2006, p. 324-336

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005

by Allen Fremont, Geoffrey F. Joyce, Henry D. Anaya, Candice C. Bowman, James P. Halloran, Sophia W. Chang, Samuel A. Bozzette, Steven M. Asch

BACKGROUND: Many organizations participate in quality collaboratives, yet the return on investment of the associated time and costs is unclear. METHOD: Semistructured interviews, surveys, and direct observation were used to assess experiences, improvement activities, and costs associated with participation in a year-long modified Institute for Healthcare Improvement-style collaborative designed to improve HIV care within the Veterans Health Administration. All nine sites had access to automated patient registries and semi-automated clinical measure reports; five sites also received computerized clinical reminders. Three one-day learning sessions were conducted. RESULTS: Participants reported that burden was small and value high, although many suggested that more time for peer-to peer learning would have been helpful. Teams averaged five quality improvement activities per site and most reported improvements in HIV care processes. The average annual cost per site was $28,000 but costs varied considerably by site. DISCUSSION: Shortened learning sessions and the incorporation of health information technology can reduce some of the costs and burdens associated with collaboratives, yet peer-to-peer interaction and local organizational factors remain important to ensuring perceived effectiveness of collaboratives.

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