In 2002 and 2003, AcademyHealth, a nonprofit health policy resource center and professional association in Washington, developed Connecting the Dots, a communication campaign to educate key audiences on the value and impact of health services research.
Knowledge generated by health services researchers has led to programs that:
- Benefit the elderly.
- The use of technology to help prevent medication errors.
- Expanded access to mammography for women.
Yet health services research remains under-funded and underused in part because, unlike biomedical research, the public and policy makers do not understand its impact on health.
Staff at AcademyHealth reported the following results:
Project staff designed an education campaign called Connecting the Dots: Transforming Health Care Through Research to highlight the connections between research and its practical applications to improved health.
The campaign strategy identified four key audiences—policymakers, health services researchers, advocates and the media—and developed targeted messages for each group.
The project team created materials for the campaign including:
- Six flyers called HSR Impacts tell brief "success stories" to illustrate the positive impact health services research has had on health policy and practice in these areas: obesity, patient safety, health care staffing, aging, racial disparities and women's health.
- 19 "Champion" statements, from such opinion leaders as Carolyn Clancy of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Senators William Frist (R-Tenn.) and John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Bill Novelli, president of the AARP, highlight the importance of health services research.