Oct 22, 2020
Posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury can have significant negative effects on veterans' mental and physical health, yet many veterans have difficulty accessing high-quality care. A rigorously developed, shared definition of high-quality care will help clinical providers and veteran-serving organizations better meet the needs of veterans with these conditions.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) — sometimes referred to as "invisible wounds" — can have significant negative effects on veterans' mental and physical health, yet many veterans have difficulty accessing high-quality care for these conditions. The Veteran Wellness Alliance, an initiative of the George W. Bush Institute, is a coalition of veteran peer network and clinical provider organizations that aims to improve access to high-quality care for post-9/11 veterans, specifically those with PTSD and TBI. Although the Veteran Wellness Alliance and other veteran-serving organizations have a common goal to improve access to high-quality care for invisible wounds, there has been no shared definition of high-quality care to guide these improvement efforts. RAND researchers conducted a literature review and interviews with Veteran Wellness Alliance partner organizations to identify standards for high-quality care, develop an initial definition, and make recommendations for implementing, refining, and disseminating the definition and its associated metrics.
Establishing a clear standard for high-quality care will help the Veteran Wellness Alliance offer meaningful guidance to its clinical partners and peer networks and will guide the broader veteran-serving community in providing the highest level of support for post-9/11 veterans who are living with the effects of these conditions.