This course introduces students to the scholarly concentration on health services and health policy research. AcademyHealth, a professional organization of health services researchers, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the federal lead organization for training and funding health services researchers, offer definitions of this field of inquiry:
Health services research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations.
-- AcademyHealth, 2000
Health services research 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.
-- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2002
Health policy research encompasses scientific exploration of issues that policymakers face as they and their organizations aim to improve quality, access, and cost of health care in the U.S. and internationally. Policymakers include both public and private actors, including consumer organizations, industry executives, financiers, purchasers, accrediting agencies, foundations and other non-profit organizations, regulators, and state and federal legislators.
Please see below for a sample syllabus. Please note that the contents of the below syllabus do not necessarily reflect what will be included in future quarters.