The role of organizational factors in the provision of comprehensive women's health in the veterans health administration
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Background: Increasing numbers of women veterans (WV) present an organizational challenge to a healthcare system that primarily serves men. WV use reproductive services traditionally not provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Objective: Examine the association of organizational factors and adoption of comprehensive women’s health (WH) care in the VHA. Study Design: Cross-sectional secondary analysis of the 2007 VHA Survey of Women’s Veterans Health Programs and Practices. Methods: Dependent measures were (a) model of women’s health care: separate women’s health clinic (WHC), designated women’s health provider within primary care (DWHP), both (WHC/DWHP), or neither and (b) availability of five basic WH services: cervical cancer screening and evaluation and management of: vaginitis, menstrual disorders, contraception and menopause. Exposure variables were organizational factors drawn from an adaptation of the Greenhalgh model of diffusion of innovations including structural factors, measures of absorptive capacity and system readiness for innovation. Results: Compared to sites with DWHP or neither, WHC and WHC/DWHP were more likely at facilities with: a gynecology clinic, an academic affiliation, a WH representative on high impact committee, and a greater number of WV. Academic affiliation and high impact committee remained significant in multivariable analysis. All five basic WH services were more likely to be offered at sites with WHC or WHC/DWHP, remaining significant after adjusting for organizational factors. Conclusion: Facilities that adopt WHC are associated with greater absorptive capacity (academic affiliation and WH representation on high-impact committees) and are more likely to deliver basic WH services. Separate WHCs may promote more comprehensive care for WV.
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