VHA Wellness Model of Health: Helping Veterans be Mission Ready for Life

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 8:30 AM

Sheron L. Salyer, DNSc, RNC, RNC-OB, FACCE, CHRC
Office of the Director, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN, USA

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mission honors Veterans by providing exceptional healthcare that improves their health and well-being. As Veterans’ needs change, a healthcare system must be open to expanding beyond an illness focus to center on what is important to Veterans and the health care outcomes they desire. This symposium describes the theoretical framework developed by the VHA Office of Patient Center Care (OPCC) to guide our transformation into a personalized, proactive, patient driven model of care.

We reports how one VHA healthcare system uses the model to conduct literature reviews identifying evidence based practice (EBP) strategies to guide practice changes as well as developing methods to evaluate the success of changes made to enhance clinical care.

Literature reviews include:

  1. EBP strategies to change the dialogue between Veterans and their care providers in clinical settings
  2. PCC changes in the physical surroundings designed to generate healing environments

    a.    Ambient lighting use within inpatient mental health clinical settings

         b.   Physical design changes in the emergency department to promote PCC

Findings for each literature review will be presented independently – describing methodology used to locate published research studies and evaluate the combined level of evidence available to support EBP changes. Lastly, we explore how existing VHA data can be used to evaluate EBP changes. EBP tables summarizing findings and identifying outcomes measured in each study will also be shared. The EBP tables are then used to establish baseline measures prior to implementing changes with reassessment six months after changes have been implemented.  

As more soldiers transition out of the military, demands for Veteran healthcare will increase with unique service related risks. It will be critical for VHA healthcare to continue to make theory driven changes to better meet their unique needs.