Kimpel CC, Myer EA, Cupples A, Roman Jones J, Seidler KJ, Rick CK, Brown R, Rawlins C, Hadler R, Tsivitse E, Lawlor MAC, Ratcliff A, Holt NR, Callaway-Lane C, Godwin K, Ecker AH. Identifying barriers and facilitators to veterans affairs whole health integration using the updated consolidated framework for implementation research. J Healthc Qual. 2024 May;43(6):137-49. doi: 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000419

BACKGROUND: Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Veteran-centered Whole Health System initiative across VA sites with approaches to implementation varying by site.

PURPOSE: Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), we aimed to synthesize systemic barriers and facilitators to Veteran use with the initiative. Relevance to healthcare quality, systematic comparison of implementation procedures across a national healthcare system provides a comprehensive portrait of strengths and opportunities for improvement.

METHODS: Advanced fellows from 11 VA Quality Scholars sites performed the initial data collection, and the final report includes CFIR-organized results from six sites.

RESULTS: Key innovation findings included cost, complexity, offerings, and accessibility. Inner setting barriers and facilitators included relational connections and communication, compatibility, structure and resources, learning centeredness, and information and knowledge access. Finally, results regarding individuals included innovation deliverers, implementation leaders and team, and individual capability, opportunity, and motivation to implement and deliver whole health care.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Examination of barriers and facilitators suggest that Whole Health coaches are key components of implementation and help to facilitate communication, relationship building, and knowledge access for Veterans and VA employees. Continuous evaluation and improvement of implementation procedures at each site is also recommended.

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