Developing and sustaining quality improvement partnerships in the VA: The colorectal cancer care collaborative

George L. Jackson, Adam A. Powell, Diana L. Ordin, James E. Schlosser, Jeffery Murawsky, Janis Hersh, George Ponte, Leah L. Zullig, Fabiane Erb, Renee Parlier, David A. Haggstrom, Nancy Koets, Peter D. Mills, Joseph Francis, Michael J. Kelley, Michael L. Davies, Dawn Provenzale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

29 Scopus citations


Objective: The Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) seeks to develop partnerships between VA health services researchers and clinical managers, with the goal of designing and evaluating interventions to improve the quality of VA health care. Methods: In the present report we describe one such initiative aimed at enhancing the continuum of colorectal cancer (CRC) care, including diagnosis, treatment and surveillance-the Colorectal Cancer Care Collaborative (C4). Results: We describe the process and thinking that led to two parallel quality improvement "collaboratives" that addressed (1) CRC screening and diagnostic follow-up and (2) the guideline concordance and timeliness of CRC treatment. Additionally, we discuss ongoing effort to spread lessons learned during the first stages of the project, which initially occurred at only a subset of VA facilities, throughout the VA health care system. The description of this initiative is organized around key questions that must be answered when developing, sustaining and spreading multi-component quality improvement interventions. Conclusion: We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned that we believe would apply to similar initiatives elsewhere, even if they address different clinical issues in health care settings with different organizational structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S38-S43
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Colorectal cancer
  • Health care
  • Quality assurance
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Jackson, G. L., Powell, A. A., Ordin, D. L., Schlosser, J. E., Murawsky, J., Hersh, J., Ponte, G., Zullig, L. L., Erb, F., Parlier, R., Haggstrom, D. A., Koets, N., Mills, P. D., Francis, J., Kelley, M. J., Davies, M. L., & Provenzale, D. (2010). Developing and sustaining quality improvement partnerships in the VA: The colorectal cancer care collaborative. Journal of general internal medicine, 25(SUPPL. 1), S38-S43.