The Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) for Team-Based Behavioral Health (Behavioral Health QUERI) (JoAnn Kirchner, MD, and Mark Bauer, MD, PIs) is one of 15 newly-funded QUERI centers nationwide focused on improving the health and care of Veterans by supporting the application of critical evidence into practice. Using common facilitation techniques and common measures, the Behavioral Health QUERI enhances and inform team-based care for Veterans with behavioral health conditions. Specifically, this program will advance VA’s knowledge of how team-based behavioral healthcare can be improved through the use of implementation facilitation strategies, with anticipated improvements in Veteran outcomes. Data will be relevant to care within VA and VA/non-VA shared care, since team-based care for Veterans occurs beyond the bricks and mortar of the VA healthcare system—an issue of increasing importance in the era of the Veterans Choice Act.
Program investigators collect common measures pertaining to organizational context, team development, health-related quality-of-life and Veteran satisfaction, and will aggregate these data across projects. Program investigators will develop a new facilitation fidelity tool and produce an updated Implementation Facilitation Training Manual that can be used by VA Operations personnel and researchers. The presence of the Behavioral Health QUERI in North Little Rock continues a long tradition of collaboration among VA and UAMS mental health services researchers, as the Mental Health QUERI (JoAnn Kirchner, PI) coordinating center was located at CAVHS and fostered a highly productive collaborative research environment that continues to benefit investigators at both institutions as well as nationally.