Open Access Articles- Top Results for Health services research

Health services research

Health services research (HSR) is a multidisciplinary scientific field that examines how people get access to health care practitioners and health care services, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care.[1] Studies in HSR investigate how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, medical technology, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and quantity and quality of life. Compared with medical research, HSR is a relatively young science that developed through the bringing together of social science perspectives with the contributions of individuals and institutions engaged in delivering health services.[2]


The primary 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.[3] HSR is more concerned with delivery and access to care, in contrast to medical research, which focuses on the development and evaluation of clinical treatments.

Health services researchers come from a variety of specializations, including geography, nursing, economics, political science, epidemiology, public health, medicine, biostatistics, operations, management, engineering, pharmacy, psychology, usability and user experience design.[4] While health services research is grounded in theory, its underlying aim is to perform research that can be applied by physicians, nurses, health managers and administrators, and other people who make decisions or deliver care in the health care system.


Approaches to HSR include:[2]

  • Implementation research: research focusing on public policy analysis, or the concerns of program managers regarding the effectiveness of specific health interventions;
  • Impact evaluation: research with emphasis on effectiveness of health care practices and organisation of care, using a more narrow range of study methods such as systematic reviews of health system interventions.

Health Services Research by country

United States

Data availability

Claims data on USA Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are available for analysis. Data is divided into public data available to any entity and research data available only to qualified researchers. USA's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) delegates some data export functions to a Research Data Assistance Center.[5]

23 Claims data from various states that are not limited to any particular insurer are also available for analysis via AHRQ's HCUP project.[6]


Colloquially, health services research departments are often referred to as "shops"; in contrast to basic science research "labs." Broadly, these shops are hosted by three general types of institutions - government, academic, or non-governmental think tanks or professional societies.

Government Sponsored

University Sponsored

Think Tank or Professional Society Sponsored


Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto, Ontario.

Canadian Collaborative Study of Hip Fractures


Data availability

Several registries are available for research use, such as Danish Twin Register or Danish Cancer Register.[7]

See also


  1. ^ AcademyHealth. What is HSR?, June 2000.
  2. ^ a b Sheikh K, et al. Building the Field of Health Policy and Systems Research: Framing the Questions. PLoS Med, 8(8): e1001073. Published August 16, 2011. Accessed August 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, February 2002.
  4. ^ UX Magazine 14.3 - Healthy Designs, September 2014.
  5. ^ "ResDAC". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Frank, L. (2000). "Epidemiology. When an entire country is a cohort". Science 287 (5462): 2398–2399. PMID 10766613. doi:10.1126/science.287.5462.2398.  edit

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