Regional Data Exchange to Improve Care for Veterans After Non-VA Hospitalization

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VA Office of Research and Development

Status

Completed

Conditions

Adverse Drug Event
Patient Readmission
Cost

Treatments

Other: Care transitions intervention
Other: HIE Notification

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other U.S. Federal agency

Identifiers

NCT02689076
IIR 14-049

Details and patient eligibility

About

Among older VA patients who have Medicare coverage, 43% use both VA and non-VA (Medicare-covered) services. VA and non-VA providers are often uninformed about encounters, treatments and test results provided in the other system. The overall objective of this project is to examine the impact of VA provider notification of non-VA hospitalization or emergency department (ED) visit using electronic health information exchange (HIE), along with provision of post-hospital care coordination services. The investigators will examine the impact of these approaches on preventing hospital readmission, increasing provider follow-up, improving patient's self-knowledge, and preventing medication errors. The investigators will also examine the effect of these approaches on VA and non-VA costs. Finally the investigators will examine the acceptance of these approaches among VA and non-VA providers. The study sample will consist of Veterans followed in geriatrics or primary care clinics at the Bronx and Indianapolis VAs who are older than 65. The investigators will monitor patients for non-VA hospital admission or ED visit using technology provided by health information exchange organizations. Patients will be assigned to enhanced or control treatment groups. For both groups the VA provider will receive an electronic notification of a non-VA hospital admission or ED visit if it occurs. For the enhanced group, a care transitions coordinator will deliver post-hospital coordination services during a home and/or VA facility visit and follow-up phone calls over 1 month. The investigators' analyses will compare effects of notification-plus-coordination versus notification-only on health care outcomes. The investigators will conduct interviews with intervention team members, patients, VA and non-VA staff, and other stakeholders to ascertain the barriers and facilitators to implementation of these approaches.

Full description

Background: Among older VA patients who have Medicare coverage, 43% use both VA and non-VA (Medicare-covered) services. VA and non-VA providers are often uninformed about encounters, treatments and test results provided in the other system. In particular, the absent or delayed notification of a non-VA hospital encounter is a missed opportunity for the VA to provide post-hospital transitional care services that have been shown to be effective in preventing adverse events and hospital readmission after hospital discharge. Objectives: The overall objective of this project is to examine the effectiveness, cost, and implementation acceptance of VA provider notification of non-VA hospitalization or emergency department (ED) visit using electronic health information exchange (HIE), with or without provision of evidence-based post-hospital transitional care services. Specific Aim 1 is to examine the impact of these approaches on preventing hospital admission or readmission as the primary outcome, and, as secondary outcomes, increasing provider follow-up, improving patient's condition self-knowledge, and preventing medication errors after discharge. been shown to be effective in preventing adverse events and hospital readmission after hospital discharge. Specific Aim 2 is to examine the effect of these approaches on VA and non-VA costs. Specific Aim 3 is to examine the acceptance of these approaches among VA and non-VA stakeholders. Methods: The study sample consists of Veterans followed in geriatrics or primary care clinics at the Bronx and Indianapolis VAs who are older than 65. The investigators will monitor patients for non-VA hospital admission or ED visit using technology provided by regional HIE organizations (i.e., the Bronx Regional Health Information Organization and the Indiana Health Information Exchange). Patients will be cluster-randomized 1:1 to notification-plus-coordination or notification-only groups by PACT team, stratified by facility. For both groups the PACT provider will receive real-time notification of a non-VA hospital admission or ED visit if it occurs. For the notification-plus-coordination group, a care transitions coordinator will deliver coordination activities during a home and/or VA facility visit and via follow-up phone calls over 1 month. Coordination activities will consist of: reconciliation of and counseling on the patient's VA and non-VA medications, education on signs of condition worsening, coordination of VA and non-VA follow-up appointments, and counseling on communicating with VA and non-VA providers, using structured protocols. All information-gathering by the transitions coordinator will include the HIE as an information source. The notification-only group will receive usual care after the notification. Multivariable regression models will be estimated to compare effects of notification-plus-coordination versus notification-only on primary and secondary outcomes and costs (Aims 1 and 2). The investigators will conduct interviews with intervention team members, patients, VA and non-VA staff, and other stakeholders to ascertain the barriers and facilitators to implementation of these approaches (Aim 3).

Enrollment

796 patients

Sex

All

Ages

65+ years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • established patient in a Bronx VA or Indianapolis VA geriatrics or primary care clinic

  • 65 years or older

  • be consented in the local health information exchange

  • have utilized any non-VA services in the previous two years, including:

    • nursing
    • lab
    • physician
    • pharmacy
    • and/or hospital services

Exclusion criteria

  • Refusal to sign informed consent or consent to access local health information exchange
  • Enrolled in hospice at baseline
  • Enrolled in Geriatric Resources and Care for Elders (GRACE) program (Indianapolis) at baseline

Trial design

Primary purpose

Health Services Research

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

796 participants in 3 patient groups

HIE Notification plus Care Coordination
Experimental group
Description:
VA provider notification of non-VA hospitalization via electronic health information exchange (HIE) plus post-hospital geriatric care transitions intervention
Treatment:
Other: HIE Notification
Other: Care transitions intervention
HIE Notification alone
Active Comparator group
Description:
VA provider notification of non-VA hospitalization via electronic health information exchange (HIE) followed by usual post-hospital care
Treatment:
Other: HIE Notification
Usual Care (No HIE Notification and No Care Coordination)
No Intervention group
Description:
Absence of VA provider notification of non-VA hospitalization via HIE plus Absence of post-hospital geriatric care transitions intervention [Usual Care]

Trial documents
1

Trial contacts and locations

2

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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