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Dept. of Health Services
Program Affiliations
Christian Helfrich
Research Assistant Professor
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System

Research Interests:
Organizational behavior; organizational culture; innovation implementation; change management

SciVal Experts Profile

Contact Information

email:   christian.helfrich@va.gov

address:
1100 Olive Way, Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98101

campus box:   Mailstop S-152
voice:   206-277-1655
voice2:   206-764-2935

Education

PhD   University of North Carolina, 2005   (Health Services)
MPH   University of Washington, 2000   (Health Services)
BA   Gonzaga University, 1998

Recent Publications



Helfrich CD, Dolan ED, Simonetti J, Reid RJ, Joos S, Wakefield BJ, Schectman G, Stark R, Fihn SD, Harvey HB, Nelson K. Elements of Team-Based Care in a Patient-Centered Medical Home Are Associated with Lower Burnout Among VA Primary Care Employees. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 24715396    PMCID: PMC4070238


Ennis SK, Larson EB, Grothaus L, Helfrich CD, Balch S, Phelan EA. Association of Living Alone and Hospitalization Among Community-Dwelling Elders With and Without Dementia. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 24893584


Jackson GL, Krein SL, Alverson DC, Darkins AW, Gunnar W, Harada ND, Helfrich CD, Houston TK, Klobucar TF, Nazi KM, Poropatich RK, Ralston JD, Bosworth HB. Defining core issues in utilizing information technology to improve access: evaluation and research agenda. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Nov;26 Suppl 2:623-7.  PMID: 21989613


Stetler CB, Damschroder LJ, Helfrich CD, Hagedorn HJ. A Guide for applying a revised version of the PARIHS framework for implementation. Implement Sci. 2011 Aug 30;6:99.  PMID: 21878092    PMCID: PMC3184083


Helfrich CD, Blevins D, Smith JL, Kelly PA, Hogan TP, Hagedorn H, Dubbert PM, Sales AE. Predicting implementation from organizational readiness for change: a study protocol. Implement Sci. 2011 Jul 22;6:76.  PMID: 21777479    PMCID: PMC3157428


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Dissertation, Thesis & Capstone Committees (recent HSERV graduates)

2013
Member, thesis committee for Stephanie Ennis
Association of living alone and hospitalization among community-dwelling elders with and without dementia

2013
Chair, thesis committee for Lauren Lawler
Specific PACT components associated with VHA personnel-reported improvements in patient care

2012
Chair, thesis committee for Marcus Grandjean
Program evaluation of the MRSA Program at VA Puget Sound Health Care System

External Funding (sampling of recent awards from UW SAGE data)

Increasing Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions at Low-Wage Worksites
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
PI:   Hannon           Dates:    5/1/2014 - 4/30/2015

Increasing Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions at Low-Wage Worksites
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
PI:   Hannon           Dates:    5/1/2013 - 4/30/2014

Projects

Organizational culture and the VA cardiac initiative
Principal Investigator. Examining data on organizational culture from VHA employee survey conducted in 2004. The research has three objectives: 1) validate the organizational culture component of the survey, 2) test the association of organizational culture to changes in cardiac care process measures and mortality, and 3) describe differences between physician and nurse groups in perceptions of organizational culture adjusting for gender.
Measurement equivalence/invariance analysis of organizational culture
Principal Investigator. Assess the psychometric properties of a survey instrument to measure organizational culture to determine measurement equivalence of the instrument among employees of different supervisory levels, between clinicians and non-clinician employees, and employees from within the same medical centers over time. Data came from the 2004 and 2006 VA All Employee Surveys.
Evaluating the implementation of the VA cardiovascular assessment
Co-Principal Investigator. Evaluate implementation of VA Cardiovascular Assessment Reporting and Tracking System for Cath Labs (CART-CL) among 75 VA medical centers with onsite cardiac catheterization. Identify high and low implementing medical centers using catheterization laboratory registry data and CART-CL data; conduct interviews with staff at high and low implementation sites to identify, and compare and contrast implementation policies and practices; and conduct a survey of sites to identify technical and administrative barriers and facilitators to CART-CL installation and use.
Predicting implementation from organizational readiness to change

Principal Investigator. Quality improvement studies often report that different hospitals or organizations exhibit different levels of baseline readiness to change, such as in terms of planning, resources, and leadership support; and that baseline readiness is a powerful influence on subsequent success or failure of QI implementation. A reliable, valid way of assessing organizational readiness to change could be a useful tool both as a prognostic tool to understand when an organization has a high probability of implementing a new practice, and as a diagnostic tool to identify areas (e.g., planning and goal clarity) where readiness may weak but could be improved. This study builds on a successful pilot grant to conducting scale reliability and factor structure of a survey developed by the VA Ischemic Heart Disease Quality Enhancement Research Initiative. The current study conducts a range of psychometric tests, including combining data from 4 QI studies in the VA using the instrument prospectively; the study will determine if the ORCA scales and subscales predict effective implementation among VA hospitals implementing evidence-based quality improvement practices for depression, schizophrenia, Hepatitis, and eHealth remote access.

Process oriented, validated electronic performance measures pilot study

Co-Investigator. Develop and validate an automated performance measure for treatment of hyperlipidemia and hypertension in patients with ischemic heart disease using the VA electronic health record (EHR). The ultimate goal is to improve both the quality of care and the efficiency of performance measurement by translating performance measurement from labor intensive manual chart abstraction to automated extraction of continuously updated electronic data. Project active from 2007-2008.

Appropriateness of percutaneous coronary intervention

Co-Investigator. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a costly clinical procedure that improves outcomes for certain high-risk cardiac patients but also carries a small, but significant risk of adverse outcomes. Recently, "appropriateness" criteria have been developed to help clinicians better identify patients who will benefit from PCI. The Veterans Health Administration is well-positioned to systematically integrate PCI appropriateness via the Cardiac Assessment Reporting and Tracking System - Cath Lab (CART-CL), a software package designed to create a single national VA data repository, procedure reporting, and quality improvement program for procedures performed in the 75 VA cardiac catheterization laboratories. The present study will develop the methods necessary to classify the appropriateness of PCIs performed nationwide in the VA through CART-CL. Project outcomes will be: (1) classification of appropriateness of PCI; (2) identification of data elements necessary for complete appropriateness classification of PCI; and (3) validation of CART-CL data elements for appropriateness classification. Project active from 2007-2011.