The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the largest integrated health care system in the nation, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, and other facilities. Included in the varied types of care the VA provides are many specialized clinical and research centers. Baltimore’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence is one such place and has used AutoData’s Scannable Office since 2008.
The Associate Director of Epidemiology and Outcomes for the MS Center, Dr. William Culpepper, explained how the Center has had success using Scannable Office in collecting pertinent data from veterans from all over the country. Over the past five years, the Center used Scannable Office with help conducting two nation-wide surveys. Dr. Culpepper and the Center sought to collect specific, detailed clinical data on veterans with MS. They found that one of the best ways to do so was through representative surveys and asking the patients themselves. Dr. Culpepper wanted something simple to use and something that could be managed by his assistants yet still retain its high functionality; they ultimately settled on Scannable Office. Before mailing the surveys out, the Center was able to pre-print the surveys with ID numbers linking the form back to the respondent, a feature Dr. Culpepper appreciated. The Center then mailed out the paper surveys to thousands of veterans.
The Center collected data from over 3,000 veterans nationwide and Dr. Culpepper was able to use that data to draft multiple manuscripts describing the epidemiology of MS. One of the important findings Dr. Culpepper was able to show was that the veteran population with MS is not that different than the non-veteran population with MS. Evidence was also gathered to show that within the VA system, MS patients’ care costs twice as much as other patients’ care. Dr. Culpepper and the MS Center of Excellence are doing extremely important work by conducting cutting edge research and clinical work on our nation’s heroes diagnosed with MS. AutoData is proud to learn that Scannable Office has played a small part in aiding the Center to further its research. Most importantly, the Center continues to plan more survey based research in the future in an effort to learn more about veterans with MS.