The Future of Health Services Research: Advancing Health Systems Research and Practice in the United States

A Special Publication from the National Academy of Medicine


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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 and the quality and cost of health care.” Since the 1960s, health services research has provided the foundation for progress, effectiveness, and value in health care. Ironically, at a time in which appreciation has never been higher for both the need and potential from health services research, the political and financial support for sustenance and growth appear to be weakening.

With funding support from AcademyHealth, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Board of Family Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of American Medical Colleges, Federation of American Hospitals, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this National Academy of Medicine special publication identifies the range of issues that health services research must consider, address, and potentially overcome to transform the field to meet the needs of a 21st-century health care system. These issues are broad, multidisciplinary, and will require a coordinated effort to address – as well as dedicated and sustainable funding. Federal support for health services research has never been more critical. Now is a critical time for the field to articulate its priorities, demonstrate its utility, and transform to meet the needs of a 21st-century health care system. The physical and financial health of the nation is at stake. 


Workshop Planning Committee


  • Andrew Bindman, University of California, San Francisco
  • Carolyn Clancy, US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Ellie Dehoney, Research!America
  • Adaeze Enekwechi, McDermott+Consulting
  • Lee Fleisher, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sherry Glied, New York University
  • Atul Grover, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Sandra R. Hernandez, California Health Care Foundation
  • Charles N. Kahn III, Federation of American Hospitals
  • Gopal Khanna, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Suzanne Miyamoto, American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Robert Phillips, American Board of Family Medicine
  • Alonzo Plough, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Joe V. Selby, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
  • Lisa Simpson, AcademyHealth


Related Meetings


Special Publication Webinar  |  January 24, 2019

Building the Evidence Base for Improving Health Care: Contributions, Opportunities, and Priorities  |  February 26-27, 2018  


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