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VA Health Systems Research

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COIN: Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC); Indianapolis, IN

Center for Health Information and Communication

Interim Director: Matt Bair, M.D., M.S.


About the COIN

The Center for Health Information and Communication’s mission is to improve Veterans’ health care through innovative research on health information, technology, and communication.

Research Focus Areas

The Center’s work focuses on the following two areas:

  1. Advance technologies to engage and connect Veterans, clinicians, and VA operations partners, to improve healthcare decision-making, policy, and outcomes.
  2. Optimize interpersonal communication among Veterans, clinicians, and other caregivers, to promote Veteran-centered care.

Additional clinically targeted areas include chronic pain, mental illness, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease.

Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs)

The Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs) program is a new HSR&D funding mechanism that gives researchers the opportunity to pursue a five-year impact goal. Each RIVR impact goal aligns with VA priority areas including VA legislative priorities (e.g., MISSION Act); cross-cutting ORD priorities (e.g. PTSD); other HSR&D defined clinical priorities (e.g. Health Equity); and HSR&D methodological priorities (e.g. Data Sciences, Implementation Sciences, Systems Engineering). Impact goals for RIVRS could include changes in VA policy or clinical guidelines, spread of operational processes across VISNs, scaling of an effective intervention to 2-3 additional sites, advancements in health services research methods, or any other impacts that have real-world effects on Veteran health and satisfaction.

Current RIVR project

Implementation of Telecare Collaborative Management of Chronic Pain in Primary Care

Principal Investigator: Alan McGuire, PhD

The goal of this project is to implement evidence-based, collaborative telecare management of chronic pain in the Richard L. Roudebush (Indianapolis) VAMC primary care clinics and support subsequent scale-up. Investigators will accomplish this goal by implementing care management, pain self-management, and analgesic optimization protocols from clinical trials; providing implementation support (training, expert consultation, and facilitation); and producing an implementation toolkit. Investigators will monitor success based on reach (number of clinics referring, Veterans enrolled), effectiveness (change in pain interference), acceptability (Veteran- and staff-reported satisfaction), implementation (percentage of Veterans receiving each element of the program), and maintenance (percentage of clinics continuing following withdrawal of implementation support).

Center Focus

The Center has at its core a three-pronged, ABC (Advance, Bring, Cultivate) focus:

  • Advance the science of health information and communication, to improve the coordination, quality, safety, and value of health care for Veterans.
  • Bring about improvements in clinical practice through the translation and implementation of health services research.
  • Cultivate a vibrant community of scientists in health services research and development, with the skills and passion to improve VA healthcare through a focus on health information, communication, and implementation.

Human-Computer Interaction & Simulation Laboratory

The HSR&D Human-Computer Interaction & Simulation Laboratory utilizes both field-based (e.g., ethnography) and laboratory-based methods to study technologies, workflows, user interfaces, usability, and human factors. The laboratory can be reconfigured to simulate various clinical care environments, and provides the following capabilities: record user screen actions through instrumented software designed to capture user interaction with the software interface; collect video data of users’ non-verbal reactions; acquire and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from human-computer interaction recordings; and rapidly develop and evaluate prototypes of new software designs.

Partner Offices

Each COIN works closely with operational partners throughout the VA healthcare system. CHIC has both active and evolving partnerships.

Active Partnerships

Developing Partnerships

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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.