Next Article in Journal
Strategies to Promote Broad-Based Implementation of Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Units
Next Article in Special Issue
The Acute Care for Elders Unit Model of Care
Previous Article in Journal
Assessment of Smart Watches for Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ageing Population: A Systematic Review
Previous Article in Special Issue
Orthogeriatrics and Hip Fracture Care in the UK: Factors Driving Change to More Integrated Models of Care
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report
Geriatrics 2018, 3(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3030057

Vet Connect: A Quality Improvement Program to Provide Telehealth Subspecialty Care for Veterans Residing in VA-Contracted Community Nursing Homes

1
VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centric and Value-Driven Care, 13611 East Colfax Ave., Aurora, CO 80045, USA
2
School of Medicine, The University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1113 KB, uploaded 5 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Veterans residing in Veterans Health Administration (VA) contracted Community Nursing Homes (CNHs) receive primary care from the CNH they reside in, but often travel to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) for specialty care services. The Vet Connect project is a quality improvement project aiming to implement video technology to support access to specialty care. Methods: Eight Denver VAMC specialty care providers and three project nurses underwent telehealth training and obtained appropriate equipment. To identify in-person visits eligible for substitution of video visits, project nurses review charts of CNH Veterans, consult directly with Veterans, and obtain recommendations from staff. Project nurses serve as tele-presenters within the CNHs, while VA specialists provide care from the VAMC. After each visit, team nurses coordinate care with and deliver specialty care recommendations to CNH staff. Results: We assessed clinical, business, and technical domains of the Vet Connect project, and utilized process mapping to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation. Clinically, starting on 26 June 2017 through 1 June 2018, N = 203 video visits have been conducted with 11 different CNHs in three subspecialties: geriatrics, palliative care, and mental health. These visits generated 49 referrals for 37 Veterans. Fiscally, cost analyses indicate that per visit, the health care system saves an estimated $310. Technologically, the success rate was 83%. Process mapping helped identify facilitators and barriers to implementation of the telehealth program, including cultivating buy-in from key stakeholders (i.e., medical and mental health providers, telehealth staff, and CNH staff), communication allowing for ongoing program adaptation, and building relationships. Conclusion: Subspecialty care delivery to nursing homes using video visit technology in the Vet Connect program is feasible using centralized organization to coordinate complex clinical, business and technical processes. Vet Connect has proved sustainable and has potential to expand within and outside of the VA. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare models; geriatric care; telehealth programs; cost savings healthcare models; geriatric care; telehealth programs; cost savings
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hale, A.; Haverhals, L.M.; Manheim, C.; Levy, C. Vet Connect: A Quality Improvement Program to Provide Telehealth Subspecialty Care for Veterans Residing in VA-Contracted Community Nursing Homes. Geriatrics 2018, 3, 57.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Geriatrics EISSN 2308-3417 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top