The goal of health services research is not only to understand what is wrong with our systems but also to generate science to help improve them. This type of science is showcased in the theme “Improving Safety, Quality, and Value” this year. A compelling additional element is questions of equity, focused on ensuring that minoritized and marginalized populations are not left behind in efforts focused on overall or aggregate improvement. This is a theme throughout the sessions presented this year. 

Here are some previews of what you can expect from this year’s Improving Safety, Quality, and Value theme sessions:

Improving Care Coordination and Care Transitions

This session on Saturday, June 29 from 12:45ET focuses on strategies for improving care coordination and care transitions from the inpatient to the outpatient settings and across subspecialties. This session will feature a randomized trial of comprehensive care management for high utilizers, the effectiveness of care coordination in adults on readmissions and cost outcomes, a multinational study of discharge communication problems in older adults, and a study assessing access to mental health care for children with chronic medical conditions receiving subspecialty care. 

Innovative Approaches to Improving Care

New technologies and new applications of old technologies provide potential avenues for improving quality and safety. This session on Monday, July 1 at 3:30pm ET highlights innovative approaches to care delivery and measurement that inform efforts to improve quality. Presented studies include: Technology-enhanced support for family caregivers for transitional palliative care in rural or medically underserved areas (bringing a health equity focus for underserved population); analysis of a suite of PROMIS measures to support cancer patients who might otherwise need emergency department care; simulation modeling to inform nurse staffing levels. 

Healthcare Financing, Payment, and Privatization

This session on Sunday, June 30 at 9:30am ET focuses on emerging debates related to health care financing, payment, and privatization, and the implications for access, care delivery, and costs. Featured are a study of household health care payments under a single payer policy (assessing differential costs by race and ethnicity as well as insurance type), an analysis of Medicare Advantage plans’ adopting benefits to address non-medical and social needs, associations between Medicare reimbursement for ambulatory cardiac procedures and private equity acquisitions of cardiology practices, and the impact of nurse staffing levels on costs of care in Medicare.

Implementation Science at the Front-Line

Front-line strategies to improve clinical care delivery have the potential to improve care very directly, but implementation details are often a key component of success. Studies in this session on Sunday, June 30 at 1:45pm ET on front-line strategies incorporate a broad spectrum of practice settings, from nursing homes to operating rooms. Topics include: a national falls collaborative to improve safety for nursing home residents, shared-decision making between clinicians and patients with cardiovascular disease, the effects of patient-surgeon gender concordance on mortality (assessing gender equity), and congressionally mandated efforts to advance implementation science.

Optimizing Guideline-Concordant Prescribing and Clinical Management

The lag between generation of evidence-based medicine, including medication and clinical management, is famously reported as 17 years. Guidelines can help shorten that timeline, but implementation is a crucial component. This session focuses on approaches to improve appropriate, guideline-concordant prescribing of medications. Topics include: health system tools to advance guideline-concordant care for patients with chronic pain or opioid-use disorders, impact of a peer comparison feedback intervention to increase opioid guideline adherence, dissemination of an electronic flag to reduce inappropriate antiplatelet prescribing, and disparities in guideline-concordant diabetes care in the Veterans Health Administration, focusing on quality measurement to assess disparities (finding that racial and ethnic disparities can occur in high quality medical centers, highlighting the need to assess for disparities in quality, not only overall quality). Join this session on July 1 at 11am ET.

Establishing Statewide Capacity to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes and Equity: Lessons from Four States (Research Panel)

The panel chosen in the theme this year, happening July 2 at 10:45 ET, is a terrific set of presentations providing lessons in state-level collaboratives—how to convene them, lessons learned, and how to focus on preventive care for cardiovascular conditions in large groups of outpatient clinics. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded four states with high cardiovascular events to build sustainable statewide primary care collaboratives focused on implementing patient-centered outcomes research to improve cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes. Each state will present their experience, followed by a moderated robust discussion, pulling out common themes and illustrative differences between state experiences.  Health equity questions are addressed, delineating differences in improvement by separate race/ethnicity groups. 

We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2024 AcademyHealth Research Meeting this June 29-July 2nd learning more about this illuminating new research in the field. Preview the agenda here


Naomi Bardach, M.D., M.A.S.

Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy - University of California San Francisco

Dr. Bardach is a Professor of Pediatrics and Policy in the Department of Pediatrics and the Philip R. Lee Inst... Read Bio

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