Birmingham VA Medical Center and UAB physician Stefan Kertesz, M.D., led a group of investigators at four VA Medical Centers and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in an effort to build a survey that would help patients rate their care.

“For homeless patients in particular, to whom emotional and material barriers to care are so profound, the first goal is to build a relationship,” said Kertesz, associate professor in UAB’s Division of Preventive Medicine and the principal investigator for the study. “We wanted to scientifically measure whether a stronger relationship develops in primary care programs that really tailor their services for homeless patients. That meant using a truly valid survey tool with the patients. We took three years to write one that focuses on what matters to the homeless.”

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