Database and Informatics Support for QUERI: Current Systems and Future Needs

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Objectives.Our primary objective is to provide an overview of database and informatics support for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI).Methods.We discuss the role of information technology resources in the QUERI process. We also review current VA information systems and specific databases in terms of strengths and weaknesses for addressing the QUERI goals. A synthesis of the issues and strategies for addressing specific data needs are presented by use of examples from 2 of the QUERI disease modules: Diabetes Mellitus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Finally, we discuss issues that need to be considered during development of new information systems to address the needs of clinical quality-improvement efforts.Conclusions.Quality enhancement in VA health care requires coordination and careful planning among clinical, administrative, research, policy, and information technology leaders to ensure that key clinical process and outcome measures are reliably collected in the VA information systems. As the QUERI progresses, data needs will probably shift from addressing data gaps to developing approaches for feedback and evaluation. Continued and enhanced cooperation among all VHA business processes is vital to the success of the QUERI.

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