Thursday, June 23, 2016

IBH-PC and Institutional Review Boards

So what is this “IRB”, what do they do and why is it important?
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), (in Vermont, aka "the Committees on Human Research"), review and approve human subject research. IRBs have one paramount responsibility:  
To protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects

The committee review process is designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants who participate in research by ensuring that:
·         risks are minimized,
·         subject selection is equitable,
·         informed consent is appropriate, and
·         privacy and confidentiality are preserved.
In addition to approving our research study protocol, IRBs require that all research staff involved in the project complete education and training.

IRB approval is taken very seriously. Before we could begin work on this project, well before human subjects are even involved, we needed to obtain approval from the University of Vermont’s IRB to conduct the study. Done J…… And now for the easy part - getting IRB approval from all 40 of the individual practice sites' IRBs to participate in the study.

This morning, the Cluster Leaders were provided materials to assist them in getting this project approved by their institution’s IRB. Every IRB office is different with unique forms and documentation needs specific to each organization. Outlined below are the steps we will be using to work through securing IRB approvals at all practice sites.

Process for Cluster Leaders:
Look over the documents we sent you.
Assemble the forms needed from your institution’s IRB office
Fill out your institution’s forms using the information found in the documents provided
Send your completed institution’s forms to Juvena Hitt at UVM to review.
After review, Juvena will send the forms back to you for submission to your IRB Office.
Let us know of any feedback our questions from your IRB office and provide us with the approval letter once approved.

Please ask any questions along the way. If you need assistance in filling out the forms from your institution -we can help with that as well

Easy, peasy....we hope!

[Thanks to Juvena Hitt for writing this post.]

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New article by Sarah Scholle

Health Affairs recently published an article by a team including Sarah H. Scholle, DrPH. In addition to serving as Vice President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, in Washington, D.C., Sarah is a co-investigator on IBH-PC.

 2016 Jun 1;35(6):1000-1008.

Quality Measures For Mental Health And Substance Use: Gaps, Opportunities, And Challenges.


Following up on its Crossing the Quality Chasm report, in 2006 the Institute of Medicine issued a report that included sweeping recommendations to improve the quality of behavioral health care in the United States. To date, few of those recommendations have been implemented, and there is little evidence that behavioral health care quality has improved significantly over the past ten years. However, the advent of health care reform, parity of insurance coverage, and growing recognition of the impact of behavioral health disorders on population health and health care costs have created new demands and opportunities for expanded and innovative strategies to assess the quality of care for this patient population. We provide an overview of the current state of quality measurement in behavioral health, identify key priorities for measure development, and describe the most important challenges. We recommend a coordinated plan that would boost investment in developing, evaluating, and implementing behavioral health quality measures; conduct research to develop the evidence necessary to support a more robust set of measures; overcome barriers to the improvement and linking of data sources; and expand efforts to build the capacity of the clinical workforce, in partnership with consumers, to improve quality.

The full article is available here.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Co-investigator Jen Lavoie is also an artist

When she is not a patient co-investigator managing the stakeholder engagement activities of IBH-PC, Jen Lavoie is a highly-regarded fiber artist. In fact, many in the special field of hooked-rug art consider her the best practitioner working today! One of her latest rugs is mentioned here and is part of a show of hand-hooked rugs depicting the Tarot.

Congrats to Jen on another beautiful creation!

Tarot #8 "Strength", by Jennifer O'Rourke Lavoie