VA to implement IT-driven, patient-centered care model

VA seeks help to adopt patient-centered care model

The Veterans Affairs Department is undertaking what it calls a massive change in how it delivers health care to veterans by adopting a new and evolving concept called patient-centered care.

Patient-centered care revolves around the needs and preferences of patients, who are informed and engaged throughout their treatment. Effective use of information technologies and altered work processes are typically part of the model.

The Veterans Health Administration is seeking professional assistance to implement its Patient-Centered Care Initiative, according to a Sources Sought notice published Feb. 11 on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

“VA now wishes to embark on a major cultural transformation to Patient-Centered Care. Assistance with this massive transformation is the specific focus of this consulting contract,” the notice states.

Respondents have until Feb. 18 to submit a response. The VA said it has not yet decided whether it will solicit contracts.

Patient-centered care has been adopted by many hospitals and physicians. According to the Commonwealth Fund, which has studied the concept, patient-centered care includes the attributes of superior access to care, patient engagement in care, effective clinical information systems, care coordination, integrated team care, routine patient feedback to doctors, and availability of public information about the quality of various care providers.

“This relatively new concept requires that health care providers and institutions completely re-evaluate how they deliver care,” the VA notice states. “They then implement new processes where care is totally focused on patient needs and desires, as opposed to the traditional methods of care delivery which are more focused on health care providers and the needs of the system of care delivery itself.”

According to the VA notice, studies have shown that when patient-centered care is effectively implemented, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction increase dramatically, as do medical staff satisfaction and retention. Overall, such care organizations function more effectively and operational costs are reduced, the notice said.

The proposed consulting contract will be a fixed-price contract for a maximum of three years. The winning contractor must provide on-site consultation and guidance, education and training, oversight, ongoing advice, readiness assessments and individual assessments of VA facilities.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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