Abstract 282: Assessing Levels of Active Participation through a VA Provider Network to Improve Quality of Care for Veterans with Heart Failure
Objective: The goal of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) QUERI program is to improve the quality of care for heart failure (HF) patients and implement evidence-based practices throughout the VA system. One strategy to achieve this goal was to create a VA heart failure provider Network which occurred in 2006. We sought to characterize provider participation in this mature network.
Method: We tracked all members of the HF Network including their title, location at one of 144 VA facilities; date joined and if applicable, date left the HF Network. We considered the following activities to be evidence of “active” participation: attended a web-based meeting or the annual in-person meeting, requested meeting materials, or completed a periodic survey of providers. Participation of all other members is considered “passive”.
For this project we assessed each facility’s level of participation in the HF
Network from July 2006 till June 2013 (7 years). Facility participation level was characterized as “None” (no member at that facility with active participation), “Low” (at least one member at that facility attended 1-2 activities) and “High” (at least one member at that facility participated in ≥3 activities).
Data were linked to existing facility-level data that included presence of an HF clinic, cardiac cath lab, use of pharmacist, bed size, membership in Council on Teaching Hospitals (COTH), and presence of an Accredited Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program.
Results: Altogether, 1205 providers have participated in the HF Network. As of June 2013, 987 providers from 144 VA facilities participate in this network. They include VACO leadership (1%), VISN leadership (4%), facility leadership (9%), Chiefs of Cardiology (7%), staff physicians (32%), nurses (28%), pharmacists (5%) and others (14%).
Participation at the facility-level has increased from 2008 (None=37, Low=43 and High=64) to 2013 (None=8, Low=16 and High=120, (p <0.001). High participating facilities were more likely to be classified as tertiary (p <.016), COTH members (p <0.001), having ACGME programs (p <0.001), and located in the West or Southeast United States (p =.03). High participating facilities are also more likely to have a HF clinic (p <0.001), a cardiac catheterization lab (<0.001), and use a pharmacist in routine HF care (p <.03).
Conclusions: Involvement and active participation in the VA HF Network has grown and is more likely at academic facilities and those providing more intensive services.
Author Disclosures: A. Sahay: None. P. Heidenreich: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.