VA Using Predictive Analytics to Address Veteran Suicides

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is having early successes with a new suicide prevention program that uses predictive data analytics to examine trends and identify patients most at-risk of suicide, according to Federal News Radio.

The program, known as REACH Vet, “alerts VA clinicians of veterans who could benefit from more attention, and the program prompts clinicians to call and check in with their patients.”

VA highlighted the successes last Thursday at the Health Innovation Day event hosted by ACT-IAC.

“What we found … not surprisingly is that veterans at highest risk of suicide are also at very high risk of some other things,” said VA deputy director for innovation Aaron Eagan. “They’re at significantly increased rates of all-cause mortality, accident morality, overdoses, violence … [and] opioids.”

Veterans contacted through REACH Vet program have been “admitted to mental health inpatient units less often, showed up to more…appointments and visited the VA more frequently…” reports Ogrysko.

The program has reportedly “reached more than 30,000 veterans, and it identifies about 6,700 active VA-users a month.”

Meanwhile this week, VA’s former Chief Information Officer, Scott Blackburn, expressed confidence at an IT summit that the VA’s IT needs would continue to be adequately addressed.

The plan is still to move forward. Myself leaving or Secretary [David] Shulkin leaving should not have much impact on that,” Blackburn said at an April 23, 2018, Government Information Technology Executive Council summit.

“Things are still moving forward to the best of my knowledge, and I’m looking forward to seeing that contract signed in the next couple of months.”


Posted in Featured News



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