Health Services Research: James D. Murphy, MD, MS

Objective: The main goals of health services research Are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety. Students will learn about three major aspects of health care, including the effectiveness and quality of the care, access to care, and its cost. Data sources and methods (e.g., program evaluation, qualitative research, and survey research) used to evaluate the effects and outcomes of the health care system on people’s health will also be introduced in the course.

Course Content:

Topic Content
Orientation & Introduction
HSR Definition & Conceptual Models
Overview; Definitions; HSR models
Examples of HSR

Effectiveness of Care

Effectiveness of health service
Comparative effectiveness
Practice variation

Access to CareSupply of health service; Affordability; Physical accessibility
Acceptability - social or cultural

Quality and Clinical Guidelines
Patient Safety

Level of evidence/ strength of recommendation
Practice guidelines
Quality Improvement/ Quality Assurance
Safety research; safety goals


Health Economics (Efficiency)

Types of costs
Costs vs. charges
Incremental & marginal costs
Types of analyses with various perspectives

HSR Data Sources and Data CollectionReview different data sources and data collection methods
Quality of Life MeasurementQuality of life instruments; Patient preferences
Measuring QOL
Survey ResearchTypes of survey questions; Developing surveys
Measurement principles
Qualitative ResearchPrinciples of qualitative research
How to conduct interviews or focus groups
Program Evaluation

 Evaluating health programs / systems