Inside INdiana Business

Program receives funding for veterans telehealth

(photo courtesy of the Regenstrief Institute)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University research scientists are working with a grant for more than $5 million to implement and expand telehealth services within the Veterans Administration. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Quality Enhance Research Initiative funding for the Expanding Expertise Through E-health Network Development will allow for three programs through several telehealth models. 

“The VA has been heavily investing and innovating the design and delivery of telehealth services over the past decade,” said Teresa Damush, PhD, research career scientist at the VA, research scientist at Regenstrief Institute and co-leader of the EXTEND QUERI. “Our primary goal is to collaborate with our clinical stakeholders and utilize implementation strategies to facilitate the uptake and sustainment of telehealth services within three targeted contexts of VHA specialty care services to increase veteran access to high quality, evidence-based programs. Second, we plan to evaluate best practices for optimal communications and shared care between telehealth, primary and specialty care services and veteran patients.”

The areas of focus will be: 

  • TeleNeurology — providing outpatient neurology consultations via telehealth for veterans at facilities with limited access to neurology care. The VA Video Connect system will connect neurologists directly to patients in their homes, at community-based clinics where the patient receives care, or to primary care providers for electronic consultation.
  • TelePain — providing chronic pain management via primary care telehealth. Regional telehubs staffed by specialty nurses will work with primary care providers to deliver pain management to veterans.
  • TeleGRACE (Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders) — extending the reach of geriatrics’ home and community-based care management via telehealth. Clinical staff will conduct virtual home visits and transmit patient evaluations to the centralized geriatrician and nurse practitioner located at the VA Medical Center to provide collaborative care management.

“These projects were identified by drawing upon our partners’ shared agendas,” said Dawn Bravata, M.D., another co-leader of the project. “We are excited to implement these evidence-based interventions in routine clinical care settings and hope to learn how to optimize them for the benefit of veterans and the providers who serve them.”

 The project is funded from Oct. 21, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2025.

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