Research in Progress - Research and Development - Iowa City VA Health Care System
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Research and Development - Iowa City VA Health Care System


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Research in Progress

Principal Investigator:

  • Gary E. Rosenthal, M.D.

Project Title:

Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice - CRIISP


Hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers often fall short of using the findings from research studies to improve health care services for veterans. While research studies show that the VA does a better job of using research information than providers in the private sector, more can still be done to improve the transfer of information from researchers to clinicians. This transfer of information is referred to as "implementation". The Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice ( CRIISP) was established in June 2004 as a new VA Health Services Research and Development ( HSR&D) Center of Excellence focusing on implementation or transfer of information.

CRIISP's goal is to create ways to channel research information to clinicians in a more direct fashion in order to improve veterans' well being. Specifically, the center aims to: 1) identify existing processes that assist or hinder the transfer of research information; and 2) develop, test, and distribute new processes that improve the quality and costs of medical services.

CRIISP's work will focus on illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, that are common in veterans and cause significant suffering and disability. CRIISP will also focus on patients who suffer from more than one condition and seek to develop new implementation strategies that can address several conditions at once, recognizing that physicians would be overwhelmed if separate implementation strategies were used for each medical condition. In addition, CRIISP will develop ways to improve care that are customized to the particular strengths and needs of each patient. The patient-focused emphasis of CRIISP is of particular interest since prior work has shown that implementation may be more effective if the patient and physician both agree on the treatment strategy.

The founding of CRIISP reflects a close partnership between VA HSR&D at the Iowa City VA Medical Center, the Veterans Integrated Service Network 23 (which includes VA facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota), and researchers at the University of Iowa. The CRIISP team includes physicians and nurses, as well as experts in several other areas, such as psychology, public health, health economics, health care organizations, public policy, business and sociology. CRIISP is also working to establish a network of health care organizations with vested interests in improving health care delivery. These organizations will be important sites for testing the usefulness of new strategies.

CRIISP will complement other VA Centers throughout the nation that are leaders in improving healthcare. To support these efforts, CRIISP will sponsor several new activities including: a website providing measures and tools that can be used by researchers in designing new projects and by practicing clinicians; a biannual research conference that will bring together national experts to review successful strategies for improving care and high-priority areas for future research; and a research "Summer Camp" for medical administrators and leaders. Through these activities and by developing implementation strategies that improve the quality of medical services, CRIISP aims to improve veterans' well being and be a national resource in the area of implementation.

MeSH Terms: quality of health care, quality of indicators, evidence based medicine, patient-centered care, decision support system, health services research