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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 3: Selected Players (Federal and Private) (Page 10 of 27)

Veterans Administration (VA) HSR&D

Snapshot of the VA-HSRand D home page. Click to visit the site. Close the open window to return to this page.

Founded in 1973, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Service (VA-HSR&D) (http://www.hsrd.research.va.gov) supports a broad range of health services research studies in search of the most cost-effective approaches to delivering quality healthcare to the nation's veterans. VA-HSR&D examines how the organization, financing, and management of health care affect delivery, quality, cost, access, and health outcomes.

HSR&D Research Projects

Health Services Research and Development Service research projects are often multidisciplinary. They "involve expertise in a combination of clinical fields (medicine and all its specialties, nursing, and other health care professions), social sciences (especially psychology, sociology, economics, and organization theory), and multiple research approaches and methods (experimental and quasi-experimental studies, survey research, database analyses, biostatistics, psychometrics, econometrics, modeling techniques, etc.)"

HSR&D Research Interests

VA-Health Services Research and Development Service's objective is to advance the state of knowledge about health services in the VA and the nation, and to disseminate that knowledge for practical application. Research areas include health outcomes research, evaluation of quality of care, cost-effectiveness, and comparison of VA with other large-scale healthcare delivery systems.

Projects and Programs

All VA-Health Services Research and Development Service projects or programs are peer-reviewed. Annual progress reviews are required, and final reports are evaluated. The service's program areas include: (1) investigator-initiated research (IIR); (2) cooperative studies in health services; (3) field programs/centers of excellence; (4) service-directed research (SDR); (5) fellowship training programs; and (6) management decision research center (MDRC).

Health Services Research and Development Service’s sponsors research that it promotes to all. Its major conference activity is its national scientific meeting, open to all VA investigators as well as health services researchers from outside VA.

The VA-Health Services Research and Development Service publishes a list of ongoing studies that receive funding each fiscal year. Completed studies are also listed on their Web site. Specific questions regarding the VA-Health Services Research and Development Service Designated Research Areas and its programs may be searched for under the Studies link.

Notification Services

Monthly E-News from the Health Services Research and Development Service Web site will keep you up-to-date on VA-Health Services Research and Development Service's latest publications, solicitations, administrative announcements, and news features.

Additional information on the VA-Health Services Research and Development Service in Module 2.

Discussion Questions

  1. Health Services Research and Development Service has an extensive funding section on its Web site. Why might you be interested in tracking program announcements and requests for applications for selected research areas at VA's Health Services Research and Development Service site?
  2. What is the value to a librarian of paying close attention to the ongoing studies page on the VA-Health Services Research and Development Service Web site? Of the completed studies page?
  3. In addition to listing citations on completed projects, Health Services Research and Development Service has a citations database that is worth looking at. The database provides citations to additional articles, books and reports that may be of interest to a researcher doing work on a specific topic. Click on the database link at the bottom of each study for additional citations by the study participants - or go to the Publications page for simple and advanced search features. Examine the database for citations of possible use to one of your research projects. How many different ways can you search the Health Services Research and Development Service publications database?
  4. Examine QUERI. What is it and why would you use it? Is it worth mentioning to colleagues who may not know about it?
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