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Implementation Evaluation of a Complex Intervention to Improve Timeliness of Care for Veterans with Transient Ischemic Attack.

Damush TM, Miech EJ, Rattray NA, Homoya B, Penney LS, Cheatham A, Baird S, Myers J, Austin C, Myers LJ, Perkins AJ, Zhang Y, Giacherio B, Kumar M, Murphy LD, Sico JJ, Bravata DM. Implementation Evaluation of a Complex Intervention to Improve Timeliness of Care for Veterans with Transient Ischemic Attack. Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Feb 1; 36(2):322-332.

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BACKGROUND: The Protocol-guided Rapid Evaluation of Veterans Experiencing New Transient Neurologic Symptoms (PREVENT) program was designed to address systemic barriers to providing timely guideline-concordant care for patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA). OBJECTIVE: We evaluated an implementation bundle used to promote local adaptation and adoption of a multi-component, complex quality improvement (QI) intervention to improve the quality of TIA care Bravata et al. (BMC Neurology 19:294, 2019). DESIGN: A stepped-wedge implementation trial with six geographically diverse sites. PARTICIPANTS: The six facility QI teams were multi-disciplinary, clinical staff. INTERVENTIONS: PREVENT employed a bundle of key implementation strategies: team activation; external facilitation; and a community of practice. This strategy bundle had direct ties to four constructs from the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR): Champions, Reflecting and Evaluating, Planning, and Goals and Feedback. MAIN MEASURES: Using a mixed-methods approach guided by the CFIR and data matrix analyses, we evaluated the degree to which implementation success and clinical improvement were associated with implementation strategies. The primary outcomes were the number of completed implementation activities, the level of team organization and > 15 points improvement in the Without Fail Rate (WFR) over 1 year. KEY RESULTS: Facility QI teams actively engaged in the implementation strategies with high utilization. Facilities with the greatest implementation success were those with central champions whose teams engaged in planning and goal setting, and regularly reflected upon their quality data and evaluated their progress against their QI plan. The strong presence of effective champions acted as a pre-condition for the strong presence of Reflecting and Evaluating, Goals and Feedback, and Planning (rather than the other way around), helping to explain how champions at the +2 level influenced ongoing implementation. CONCLUSIONS: The CFIR-guided bundle of implementation strategies facilitated the local implementation of the PREVENT QI program and was associated with clinical improvement in the national VA healthcare system. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02769338.

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