What is it about?

To improve quality and continuity of care after high-intensity inpatient stays, the Veterans Health Administration changed the way it measures post-discharge engagement in outpatient care—from documenting a single visit within 7 days to requiring multiple visits within 30 days.

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Why is it important?

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed a new quality measure to evaluate engagement in outpatient care after discharge from inpatient or residential treatment for mental or substance use disorders. Activating the new post-discharge engagement quality measure, along with national education efforts and a population management tool, was associated with a significant 5.7% increase in patient engagement in care after discharge. Higher levels of engagement in care after discharge were sustained in the 17 months after activation of the new quality measure and population management tool at the VHA.


I hope this article continues to move forward our conversation about how we can best use quality measures to drive true improvements in the health care we provide to people.

Eric Schmidt

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Evaluating and Improving Engagement in Care After High-Intensity Stays for Mental or Substance Use Disorders, Psychiatric Services, January 2022, American Psychiatric Association,
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000287.
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