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Data-Driven PTSD Treatment for Veterans with Epic

Rush University Medical Center’s Road Home Program increases PTSD treatment completion rate to 92%

Nearly one-quarter of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, but less than half of veterans who begin therapy treatment complete it. Low completion rates are often due to social stigma and the months-long treatment time. The three-week Road Home program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago leads to the same improved mental health outcomes as longer programs and has a 92% completion rate, compared to 40% for standard PTSD therapy programs.

The Road Home program aims to remove barriers to PTSD care that many veterans face by concentrating 100 hours of outpatient therapy into a three-week period. Using Epic to collect and analyze data, Road Home program staff provide holistic, prompt care for veterans.

Jessica Burgans, who served as a combat medic in Iraq, participated in the Road Home Program in 2017.

“I cope so much better when I do have a moment of anxiety or triggers,” Burgans told the Chicago Tribune. “It would have been impossible to get that kind of healing going to a therapist once a week.”

Therapy sessions are conducted daily, so it’s essential for clinicians to monitor patient progress and adapt individual treatment plans quickly. They use Epic to collect data about each session, and then use reports in Epic to make immediate changes to individual treatment plans and monitor overall trends in real time.

“The program is successful because we’re addressing veterans’ common barriers to care and using the data to adjust each patient’s program right away,” said Rebecca Van Horn, MD, associate medical director of the program. “It really makes a difference for veterans to have consistent access to these mental health resources.”

Rush University Medical Center received HIMSS Stage 7 in 2019 for successes including the Road Home program. Epic community members can read more about the program in the Success at Seven newsletter on the UserWeb.