Background

In late 2012, the Integrated Mental Health Strategy Strategic Action #26 task group developed a pilot (“Establish a PBI Network in Mental Health”), and proposed funding via a VA Joint Incentive Fund (JIF). The PBI Network pilot was funded, implemented and evaluated over a two-year period. It brought together clinicians and clinic leaders at 32 mental health clinics across VA and DoD.

The PBI Network pilot structure was then tested through implementation of a selected pilot practice change: use of a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist (PCL) to monitor PTSD treatment outcomes. The pilot demonstrated that the PBI Network facilitated accelerated sustained practice change in the use of the PCL to monitor PTSD treatment, across both departments, and served to identify barriers and facilitators to clinician use of evidence-based care at the clinics in the PBI Network. At the conclusion of the test pilot, each participating DoD PBI Network site received a participating clinic out-brief on the overall results of the practice change pilot as well as their individual clinic’s outcomes. Site Champions and staff continue to receive ongoing implementation science (IS) training.

In March 2016, the DoD Mental Health Work Group (MHWG) approved sustainment of the PBI Network across the MHS, supported by the Deployment Health Clinical Center. The VA has also committed to sustain the PBI Network via the National Center for PTSD.

In December 2016, the DoD PBI Network hosted the first annual DoD Psychological Health Practice Change Prioritization Work Group (PCPWG) to systematically review and prioritize current DoD implementation pilot proposals, based on transparent knowledge translation readiness criteria that include mission fit, feasibility, and evidence base.

In 2017, the PBI Network will roll out an annual DoD Psychological Health Provider Needs and Preferences Survey to continue collection of service specific clinician feedback. The PCPWG will then analyze the provider feedback and use it along with surveillance data and research gap reviews to inform the subsequent PCPWG recommendations to the MHWG.