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
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.