Background: Chronic wounds, such as pressure injuries and diabetic foot ulcers, are a significant predictor of mortality. Veterans who reside in rural areas often have difficulty accessing care for their wounds. TeleWound Practice (TWP), a coordinated effort to incorporate telehealth into the provision of specialty care for patients with skin wounds, has the potential to increase access to wound care by allowing veterans to receive this care at nearby outpatient clinics or in their homes. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is championing the rollout of the TWP, starting with regional implementation. Objective: This paper aims to describe the protocol for a mixed-methods program evaluation to assess the implementation and outcomes of TWP in VA. Methods: We are conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of 4 VA medical centers and their community-based outpatient clinics that are participating in the initial implementation of the TWP. Data will be collected from veterans, VA health care team members, and other key stakeholders (eg, clinical leadership). We will use qualitative methods (ie, semistructured interviews), site visits, and quantitative methods (ie, surveys, national VA administrative databases) to assess the process and reach of TWP implementation and its impact on veterans' clinical outcomes and travel burdens and costs. Results: This program evaluation was funded in October 2019 as a Partnered Evaluation Initiative by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Diffusion of Excellence Office, and Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research and Development Service, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Program (PEC 19-310). Conclusions: Evaluation of the TWP will identify barriers and solutions to TeleWound implementation in a small number of sites that can be used to inform successful rollout of the TWP nationally. Our evaluation work will inform future efforts to scale up the TWP across VA and optimize reach of the program to veterans across the nation.
- Wound care
ASJC Scopus subject areas