Implementing Effective Policy in a National Mental Health Reengagement Program for Veterans

Policy is a powerful motivator of clinical change, but implementation success can depend on organizational characteristics. This article used validated measures of organizational resources, culture, and climate to predict uptake of a nationwide Veteran's Health Administration (VA) policy aimed at implementing Re-Engage, a brief care management program that reestablishes contact with veterans with serious mental illness lost to care. Patient care databases were used to identify 2738 veterans lost to care. Local recovery coordinators (LRCs) were to update disposition for 2738 veterans at 158 VA facilities and, as appropriate, facilitate a return to care. Multivariable regression was used to assess organizational culture and climate as predictors of early policy compliance (via LRC presence) and uptake at 6 months. Higher composite climate and culture scores were associated with higher odds of having a designated LRC but were not predictive of higher uptake. Sites with LRCs had significantly higher rates of updated documentation than sites without LRCs. Copyright (C) 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.