Scientific Programs - Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety
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Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety

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Scientific Programs

Health Decision-Making & Communication Program

Members of the Health Decision-Making & Communication Program study the decisional and communication processes used by patients and providers as they interact in medical settings with the goal of using this knowledge to enhance patients' participation in the care process, maximize patients' ability to manage their own chronic health problems, and ensure that care is in line with patients' and families' values and preferences.

Meet our investigators.

Clinical Epidemiology & Comparative Effectiveness Program

The mission of the Clinical Epidemiology & Comparative Effectiveness (CEO) Program is to advance science and health care by studying the distribution and determinants of health-related states, events, and outcomes in specific populations. Our investigators use a variety of data sources (claims and administrative databases, primary data collection), and methods to conduct cutting-edge research in clinical as well as conventional epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, and recently genetic epidemiology. The CEO Program has a long tradition of innovative collaborative work, high impact publications, research grant funding and mentoring and career development. Our regular activities include a monthly journal club, a business meeting, bimonthly research meetings, and several project specific groups.

Meet our investigators.

Behavioral Health & Implementation Program

The mission of the Behavioral Health & Implementation Program is to develop influential leaders and improve health care behaviors and outcomes by conducting methodologically rigorous research that examines innovative interventions and modes of care delivery and by actively implementing and disseminating research findings.

The Institute of Medicine Report advocates redesigning care processes to more effectively serve the needs of the chronically ill through coordinated, seamless care across settings and clinicians and over time. Effective care of the chronically ill is defined as a collaborative process involving the definition of clinical problems; joint development of an evidence-based care plan and implementation strategy; provision of self-management training and support services; active, sustained follow-up visits; and decision-support systems. CoE investigators of the Health Service Delivery and Organization Program target such interventions in top-priority conditions of the nation and VA HSR&D, including diabetes, emphysema, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, depression, and anxiety disorders.

Our program aims to implement and improve care for those with mental health disorders and those with chronic physical disorders. It is founded on the IOM recommendation to use the Chronic Care Model to address the multifaceted needs of persons with complicated medical, psychological, and social needs.

Meet our investigators.

Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Program

The Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Program consists of a diverse group of research investigators with a common focus on conducting research to improve the quality of health care and to impact health care policy through rigorous research. Our program investigators currently include primary care physicians/general internists, informaticians, a cardiologist, a health economist, an industrial/organization psychologist, and a surgeon. We perform multidisciplinary research to study several aspects of health care outcomes including quality, safety, efficiency, cost and other aspects of utilization and delivery. We pride ourselves on a high degree of collaboration both locally and nationally and use of a "team" approach to our research. Specific topics of study include measurement of health care quality and provider performance, financial incentives in health care (pay-for-performance), quality of chronic disease care in complex patients, medical errors, electronic health record-based communication, and patient safety related to electronic health record use among many other exciting topics related to quality and policy. We use a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods and are supported by an excellent team of statisticians, programmers and research staff.

Our goal is to make a positive impact on the heath care delivery and several of our publications have made a significant impact on policies, guidelines and health care system change. Through close mentoring and other career development and educational activities, we also train the next generation of researchers to carry out our mission. I encourage you to browse the profiles of our program members to learn more about us.

Meet our investigators.

Methodology & Statistics Core

The Methodology & Statistics Core (MSC) was designed to address two essential aims:

  • To provide accurate and timely methodological and analytical support for Center investigators by maintaining a cadre of experienced methodologists and programmer/analysts.
  • To maintain national stature in the VA and recognized expertise within specific areas of HSR.

MSC methodologists and analysts are integral to the success of the Center. Developing and maintaining consistent collaborations with investigators in at least one of the four scientific programs of the Center and our colleagues at MEDVAMC and other institutions in the Texas Medical Center is critical for advancement of the Center's science. Program staff assumes a key role in assisting with the methodological development of research projects, serving as a resource for investigators during grant application development, assisting with the grant-writing process, participating in pilot projects, overseeing and maintaining project databases, designing, implementing, and interpreting statistical methods, and actively participating in publications as both contributing and primary authors.

Meet our methodologists and analysts.