The call for abstracts for AcademyHealth’s 2013 Annual Research Meeting (ARM) is open until next week. For the last 30 years, the meeting has been the premier forum for those working in health services research, with a significant portion of the agenda determined through the call for abstracts process. But how much “research” is actually on the ARM agenda? Turns out, it’s even more than we thought – and more cutting edge. The agenda is divided between “research” and “research-related topics,” which include sessions to identify evidence gaps (policy roundtables, funding updates) and improve the research process (methods training and professional development). When we talk about “research” in this case, we mean presentations of scientific findings. What we found was that 60 percent of the conference agenda is dedicated to presentation and discussion of the latest evidence. And 80 percent of those presentations are selected through the abstract peer-review process (all invited sessions are chosen by the ARM Planning Committee and/or Method Council, two multidisciplinary groups of volunteers). ARM Session chart FINAL2 It’s clear that research makes up the bulk of the agenda, so we wanted to find out more about the stages of those findings. In a survey to presenters from the 2012 ARM, we found that much of the work presented is new, unpublished research, making the ARM the best place to hear the latest findings from the field. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents who presented at the podium said that they were currently seeking or planning to seek publication for their findings in a peer-reviewed journal, and 62 percent of respondents who presented a poster responded similarly. Of course, it’s important to put all that research into context and apply it to policy and practice. The roundtable sessions on the other side of the graph are consistently some of the most popular among attendees, which illustrates the importance they place on understanding where findings can be applied and what impact they can have in improving health and health care. The expert panelists in the roundtable sessions are research users who can identify emerging needs for evidence-based solutions. They’re also researchers who can share lessons learned from their own translation experiences. Together, those two parts of the agenda create a rich conference experience for health services researchers, policymakers, and practitioners alike. We’re looking forward to seeing abstract submissions for this year’s meeting, with conference themes that cover consumer choice and behavior, health IT, improving quality and value, payment delivery system innovations, and patient-centered outcomes research. We are also happy to continue our partnership with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Health Services Research (HSR) to select abstracts for full manuscript submission consideration. The abstract submission deadline is January 17 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  

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