Improving Health Services Research

Field-building activities for health services research, 2006-10

Dates of Project: July 2006 through November 2010

Field of Work: Health services research and policy

Problem Synopsis: Findings from Health Services research can lead to improvements in the way the health care system operates. But researchers do not always communicate the results of their work to policy-makers, hampering efforts to improve the health care system.

Synopsis of the Work: AcademyHealth hosted health policy conferences, research meetings, and sessions on state-level research and policy. The organization also produced a report detailing the steps necessary to strengthen the field of health services research.

Key Results: AcademyHealth held five national health policy conferences, five annual research meetings, and five sessions on state-level health care research and policy.

Key Recommendations: In a 2006 report, Strengthening the Field of Health Services Research: A Needs Assessment of Key Producers and Users, AcademyHealth recommended steps to further build the field of health services research:

  • Develop a business case for the field of health services research including a vision for how the findings from research projects will transform the health care system
  • Improve the skills of new researchers in writing, leadership, and teamwork
  • Fund a broader array of research topics and particularly in health care disparities, genetics, insurance alternatives, and financing strategies