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Harnessing Multiple Data Sources to Guide Program Planning for Rural US Veterans

Hudson TJ, Littman A, Bollinger M, Drummond KL, Finley EP, Wong E, Pyne JM, Abraham TH, Townsend J, Fortney JC. Harnessing Multiple Data Sources to Guide Program Planning for Rural US Veterans. Poster session presented at: International Population Data Linkage Conference; 2016 Aug 24; Swansea, United Kingdom.




Abstract:

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated healthcare system in the USA with 144 Medical Centers and 1,053 outpatient clinics. This needs assessment was commissioned to identify needs of rural US Veterans, particularly with respect to access to care. Methods: Preliminary data from mixed methods needs assessment for rural Veterans in the USA. Study subjects included Rural Veterans and non-governmental Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) in the USA. The specific aims for rural Veterans in "hot" and "cold" spots: 1) characterize variation in geographic, perceived and digital access to care, 2) Identify the relationship between social determinants of health and access to care, 3) Describe Veterans perceived access and need, 4) Identify innovative partnerships to improve access to care for rural Veterans. Conclusion: Rural/urban Utilization of VHA care varies broadly; although perceived and digital access is relatively high, rural/urban differences not yet defined.





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