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Research and policy recommendations from the SOTA XVI: State of the Art Conference on VA Emergency Medicine.

Ward MJ, Hwang U, Hastings SN, Timko C, Chen JI, Vashi AA, Mattocks K, Abel EA, Bravata DM. Research and policy recommendations from the SOTA XVI: State of the Art Conference on VA Emergency Medicine. Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. 2023 Apr 1; 30(4):240-251.

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To better understand and prioritize research on emergency care for Veterans, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Health Services Research and Development convened the 16th State of the Art Conference on VA Emergency Medicine (SAVE) in Winter 2022 with emergency clinicians, researchers, operational leaders, and additional stakeholders in attendance. Three specific areas of focus were identified including older Veterans, Veterans with mental health needs, and emergency care in the community (non-VA) settings. Among older Veterans, identified priorities included examination of variation in care and its impact on patient outcomes, utilization, and costs; quality of emergency department (ED) care transitions and strategies to improve them; impact of geriatric ED care improvement initiatives; and use of geriatric assessment tools in the ED. For Veterans with mental health needs, priorities included enhancing the reach of effective, multicomponent suicide prevention interventions; development and evaluation of interventions to manage substance use disorders; and identifying and examining safety and effective acute psychosis practices. Community (non-VA) emergency care priorities included examining changes in patterns of use and costs in VA and the community care settings as a result of recent policy and coverage changes (with an emphasis on modifiable factors); understanding quality, safety, and Veteran experience differences between VA and community settings; and better understanding follow-up needs among Veterans who received emergency care (or urgent care) and how well those needs are being coordinated, communicated, and met. Beyond these three groups, cross-cutting themes included the use of telehealth and implementation science to refine multicomponent interventions, care coordination, and data needs from both VA and non-VA sources. Findings from this conference will be disseminated through multiple mechanisms and contribute to future funding applications focused on improving Veteran health.

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