VA Announces New Challenge to Improve Care Coordination

Health care is much more than a single visit to a doctor’s office. It’s a compilation of all the interactions a person has with the health system and how that meshes with their lifestyle. Patients need a unified support systems of physicians and caregivers who communicate across all levels to ensure that treatment plans are harmonious. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) understands that coordination is key and seeks solutions that will allow providers to get a holistic view of patient’s interactions with the health care system.

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The VA Care Coordination for Improved Outcomes Challenge seeks algorithm based solutions that will pinpoint gaps and conflicts in patient treatment plans. The goal is for each veteran to have a single authoritative plan of care that is shared among all treating clinicians focused on the wellness of the patient. Mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pain are key areas of interest but it is expected that winning solutions could scale beyond to incorporate other conditions. Not only would this improve care for veterans but reduce costs associated with errors and duplications.

This challenge will run in two phases. Phase I seeks written description describing methods, processes and/or tools, the last day to submit is July 13, 2015. Five finalists will be awarded $5000 each and move onto Phase II where they will build a functioning prototype of their solution. Winners will be announced in December 2015. A total of $300,000 will be awarded in prizes.

When all providers and caregivers for a single patient are aware of every aspect of a treatment plan, not only can they coordinate better care but they can reduce costly duplications and errors. With increased coordination and communication, everyone benefits. Check out our website to learn more about how to enter the VA Care Coordination for Improved Outcomes Challenge.

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