Video telehealth experienced rapid growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in many healthcare sectors, including mental health. The Veterans Health Administration’s video telehealth platform, VA Video Connect, has been widely used to reach veterans who may have experienced difficulty accessing care, such as those living in rural areas or other barriers (e.g., transportation). Implementing VVC requires a multifaceted approach, including training providers on technical skills, increasing access to equipment for providers and veterans, and integrating VVC within the culture and processes of the clinic unit. Prior successful VVC implementation efforts in rural areas have focused on simultaneous one-on-one provider and leadership engagement using implementation facilitation (IF). However, given the rapid need for VVC expansion in light of limits and dangers associated with in-person care during the pandemic, our team developed group facilitation to increase the reach of VVC implementation through IF. Group facilitation combined training in technical and policy elements of VVC with IF with groups of providers from clinic units. This approach was designed to rapidly disseminate the necessary knowledge to conduct VVC combined with collaborative problem solving as a team to improve the ability of the clinical team to sustain VVC. Attendees were asked for feedback on the session through multiple choice and open-ended questions. Participants (N = 26) reported being highly satisfied with the training and reported a high degree of confidence in their ability to use VVC. Based on evaluation data and interview feedback, providers and clinic leaders were satisfied with group facilitation. Group facilitation may be a helpful tool in rapidly training clinical teams to implement and sustain video telemental health.
Access the full journal article in the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Sciences.