Growth of a Scientific Community of Practice

Public health services and systems research (PHSSR) produces evidence about the organization, financing, delivery and effectiveness of public health services within communities.

In 2004, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation began a 10-year investment in PHSSR. In 2009, it commissioned this study to answer two questions:

  1. Who are the researchers, practitioners and policy-makers engaged in PHSSR?
  2. What are their expertise, sources of funding, collaboration patterns, productivity and challenges?

A 27-item survey was e-mailed to 2,067 individuals active in PHSSR groups. Response rate was 41 percent. Respondents identified their areas of expertise as:

  • Health policy management (52%)
  • Quality improvement/outcome evaluation (48%)
  • Social and behavioral sciences (44%)
  • Public health practice (43%)

Half the respondents began their involvement in PHSSR before 2004, half after 2004. Compared to newcomers, early group members were likely to be over age 50, hold a doctorate, twice as likely to collaborate with colleagues and twice as likely to be published. Both groups were equally likely to receive funding.

One-third of all respondents had difficulty translating research into public health practice. To address this issue, the authors suggest a research agenda that systematically delineates gaps in knowledge and guides development of data and resources.

April Issue of Health Affairs Focuses on Patient Safety and Health Care Quality

  1. 1. The Ongoing Quality Improvement Journey
  2. 2. A Road Map for Improving the Performance of Performance Measures
  3. 3. The Trade-Off Among Quality, Quantity, and Cost
  4. 4. 'Global Trigger Tool' Shows that Adverse Events in Hospitals May be Ten Times Greater Than Previously Measured
  5. 5. Preventing Bloodstream Infections
  6. 6. Measuring the Performance of Individual Physicians by Collecting Data from Multiple Health Plans
  7. 7. Measuring Health Care Performance Now, Not Tomorrow
  8. 8. Despite Improved Quality of Care in the Veterans Affairs Health System, Racial Disparity Persists for Important Clinical Outcomes
  9. 9. The Importance of Transitional Care in Achieving Health Reform
  10. 10. An Early Status Report on the Beacon Communities' Plans for Transformation Via Health Information Technology
  11. 11. A Comparative Study of 11 Local Health Department Organizational Networks
  12. 12. Public Health Performance
  13. 13. A Self-Assessment Process for Accreditation Preparedness
  14. 14. Public Health Delivery Systems
  15. 15. A Shot in the Rear, Not a Shot in the Dark
  16. 16. What Predicts Local Public Health Agency Performance Improvement?
  17. 17. Growth of a Scientific Community of Practice
  18. 18. Evolution of Coauthorship in Public Health Services and Systems Research
  19. 19. Resources that May Matter
  20. 20. Evidence Links Increases in Public Health Spending to Declines in Preventable Deaths
  21. 21. Public Health Financial Management Competencies
  22. 22. Decision Science
  23. 23. Public Health Financial Management Needs
  24. 24. Data-Driven Management Strategies in Public Health Collaboratives
  25. 25. Using Geographic Information Systems to Match Local Health Needs with Public Health Services and Programs
  26. 26. Public Health Systems and Services Research
  27. 27. Mapping the Multidisciplinary Field of Public Health Services and Systems Research