The purpose of the Interactive Specialty Care Maps Application is to provide leadership with more efficient and intuitive methods to understand the delivery of specialty care in both VA and community healthcare, trends in this care over time, and information to optimize resource allocation. Building upon prior VA Collaborative Evaluation Center (VACE) specialty care map efforts, this informatics tool has been significantly updated and expanded. The revised specialty care maps could help support decision making at the VISN and medical center level around “build or buy” questions related to adding targeted specialty care capacity and services for more efficient and timely care for Veterans within VA. The maps address three central questions:
For example, to assess how specialty care maps of gastrointestinal (GI) procedure volume and cost are utilized within VISN 20, investigators identified catchment areas utilizing traffic-aware 60-minute drive-time areas around VA healthcare facilities over a six-month period. VACE then conducted an interactive demonstration of the maps to VISN 20 (Northwest Network) providers to assess acceptability and gather feedback and suggestions. Participants responded positively to the maps and most agreed they might assist them in seeing the volume of specific services—and understanding where services are being outsourced to the community. Specifically, they described the maps as being potentially useful for:
For this Rapid Response QUERI project, VACE partnered with the GI National Program. For more information, please contact Michael Ho, MD, PhD (Michael.Ho@va.gov), Acting Director, HSR&D’s Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered & Value-Driven Care.