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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

IUPUI: Researchers Use Regional Data Exchange to Improve Veteran Care After Non-VA Hospitalization

Dr. Brian Dixon, associate professor of epidemiology at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis (IUPUI), recently collaborated on the study “Regional data exchange to improve care for veterans after non-VA hospitalization: a randomized controlled trial.

Coordination of care, especially after a patient experiences an acute care event, is a challenge for many health systems. Event notification is a form of health information exchange (HIE) which has the potential to support care coordination by alerting primary care providers when a patient experiences an acute care event. This study examines the effectiveness of event notification on health outcomes for older adults who experience acute care events, and compares approaches to how providers respond to event notifications.

In a cluster randomized trial conducted across two medical centers within the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system, the researchers plan to enroll older patients (≥ 65 years of age) who utilize both VHA and non-VHA providers. Patients will be enrolled into one of three arms: 1) usual care; 2) event notifications only; or 3) event notifications plus a care transitions intervention. In the event notification arms, following a non-VHA acute care encounter, an HIE-based intervention will send an event notification to VHA providers. Patients in the event notification plus care transitions arm will also receive 30 days of care transition support from a social worker. The primary outcome measure is 90-day readmission rate. Secondary outcomes will be high risk medication discrepancies as well as care transitions processes within the VHA health system. Qualitative assessments of the intervention will inform VHA system-wide implementation.

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