HSR&D and QUERI Hold National Conference
"Transforming Veteran Healthcare through Partner-Oriented Research" was the theme of the 29th VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) and Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) National Conference, which was held from July 16-19, 2012 in National Harbor, MD. This year's theme emphasized HSR&D/QUERI's commitment to increase high-quality, high-priority, partner-aligned research aimed at better meeting the needs of Veterans and the VA healthcare system. Research/operations partnerships will ensure continuous improvement and optimal delivery of healthcare for Veterans, so that research is more responsive to the prioritized needs of the organization – and the findings are more likely to be implemented and sustained in practice.
Conference participants selected from among 121 peer-reviewed, highly rated scientific paper sessions, 40 workshops, and 146 posters on vital healthcare issues, such as: chronic disease management (e.g., heart disease, hypertension, diabetes), mental health, substance use disorders, telemedicine, women Veterans' healthcare needs, patient-aligned care teams (PACTs), and deployment-related health issues (e.g., traumatic brain injury, PTSD, chronic pain), to name a few.
The Honorable Robert A. Petzel, M.D., Under Secretary for Health, presented the Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research to Elizabeth Yano, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., Director of HSR&D's Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior. Dr. Yano exemplifies high achievement in health services research, impact of research on healthcare, and contribution to the care of Veterans. Madhu Agarwal, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services, presented Seth Eisen, M.D., M.Sc., Director of HSR&D, with the Under Secretary for Health's Exemplary Service Award for his"outstanding leadership and dedication to the Veterans Health Administration, HSR&D, and to the Veterans we serve."
Other conference highlights included a Partnership Panel with two operations/research partner pairs that described their experiences and challenges in implementing innovations in VA healthcare; a plenary presentation on the"Direction for Implementation Science: Methods, Models, and Measures" by Russell Glasgow, Ph.D., Deputy Director of Implementation Science at the National Cancer Institute; and a session on"Engaging Operations Partnerships" that was led by Jeff Murawsky, M.D., Network Director, VISN 12, which was followed by lively participant interaction and debate.
State of the Service
In his address to plenary attendees, Dr. Eisen emphasized the need to engage VA partners in health services research, align investigators with the needs of the VA healthcare system, utilize informatics, and intensify mentoring for clinicians/researchers in the earlier stages of their careers. In presenting an overview of QUERI, David Atkins, M.D., QUERI Director, highlighted the importance of collaboration in QUERI's recent successes, including partnerships with VERCs (Veterans Engineering Resource Centers), My HealtheVet, and VA Systems Redesign, to name a few.
The HSR&D/QUERI National Conference was hosted by HSR&D's Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, located in Durham, NC.