Health services research & public policy

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Last Update

This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, June 2017


See also Evidence-based web 2.0 | Point of care decision-making tools - Overview | Systematic review searching

Health Services Research (HSR)

Health services research (HSR) examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. The main goals of health services research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance and deliver high-quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety.

  • HSR is ...a field of inquiry that examines the impact of the organization, financing and management of health care services on the delivery, quality, cost, access to and outcomes of such services.
  • Our research focuses on measuring quality of health care, evaluating approaches and policies for improving health care delivery, and analysing population health outcomes.

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary field of policy analysis. It covers the medical, social, ethical and economic implications of development, diffusion and use of health technology. Health technology is defined as prevention and rehabilitation, vaccines, pharmaceuticals and devices, medical and surgical procedures, and the systems within which health is protected and maintained. ~ Cleemput, Van Den Bruel, Kohn, Vlayen, Vinck and Thiry et al, 2007

Also: ...the systematic evaluation of properties, effects, and/or impacts of health care technology. It may address the direct, intended consequences of technologies as well as their indirect, unintended consequences. Its main purpose is to inform technology-related policymaking in health care. HTA is conducted by interdisciplinary groups using explicit analytical frameworks drawing from a variety of methods. ~ National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

NLM contracted with AcademyHealth to define the scope of grey literature in health services research and policy. To better evaluate the grey literature, AcademyHealth convened a committee to identify and prioritize the relevant disciplines, subject areas and types of grey literature. To supplement the expertise of the committee, a small number of grey literature-producing organizations were contacted to determine their preservation policies and practices.


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