- Laurie M. Brockmann, M.P.H., M.S.W., Research Health Science Specialist, VA Center for Integrated Healthcare, Syracuse, NY
- Jessica Martin, Psy.D., Education and Implementation Specialist, VA Center for Integrated Healthcare, Syracuse, NY
- Terri Fletcher, Ph.D., Clinical Research Psychologist, VA South Central MIRECC, Houston, TX
- Gregory P. Beehler, Ph.D., M.A., Associate Director for Research, VA Center for Integrated Healthcare, Buffalo, NY
- Katherine M. Dollar, Ph.D., ABPP, Associate Director for Implementation, VA Center for Integrated Healthcare, Syracuse, NY
VHA is a leader in developing competency-based training for integrated primary care behavioral health providers. From late 2017 through early 2020, 2,246 providers from various disciplines were trained in a multi-phase training model providing hands-on clinical skill development centered around interactive roleplay practice and multi-dimensional assessment. Program evaluation data for the in-person training indicates significant improvement in fidelity to integrated care models after training. This presentation will describe our response to the events of 2020, rapidly transitioning our 2.5 day in-person, skills-based training program to a virtual platform, including initial program evaluation data. We also implemented new and revised content in cultural competence as an essential component of integrated care practice. We conducted 14 separate 20-hour virtual trainings with over 300 integrated behavioral health providers from various disciplines from September-December 2020. Virtual training content and process was the same as in-person (except new cultural competence content). On the last half-day, participants were required to demonstrate competence via role plays using standardized patient cases. Preliminary findings indicate initial roleplay rating pass rates for virtual participants (87.7%) were comparable to those of in-person participants (89.5%). Virtual training participants were asked the same evaluation questions as in-person training participants. Both in-person and virtual trainees reported similarly high satisfaction levels, including responses specific to effectiveness of the training environment. Open-ended responses from evaluation surveys also indicated appreciation for new cultural competence content. Preliminary program evaluation data indicate that virtual competency-based training is an effective alternative for in-person training, with the added advantage of preparing clinicians to practice in virtual settings.
- Describe the rationale and process used to rapidly transition an integrated behavioral health provider training from in-person to virtual learning.
- Identify how the transition to a virtual training program can improve access to training and may impact health equity and the digital divide.
- Discuss the implications of initial program evaluation data indicating that virtual competency training may be equivalent to in-person training.