Our faculty actively participate in an exciting and diverse array of health services research projects. Much of this work crosses disciplinary lines with collaborations among faculty from Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Health Policy and Management, the Landon Center on Aging, the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, and various Medicine departments. Clinicians work with methods and statistical experts to answer questions of importance to patient care, and health policy experts analyze ways to improve health care quality and/or delivery. In short, questions on how people access care, how much care costs, and what outcomes result are answered through collaboration among researchers from varying backgrounds.
The KUMC health services research environment is particularly strong in linking and analyzing large secondary data sources, qualitative methods including focus groups and interviewing strategies, and medical record data abstraction. There is extensive experience in working with Medicaid and Medicare as crucial study populations for epidemiologic, economic, and outcomes studies. Research topics span the age range with extraordinary focus on frail populations: disabled children and adults, elders, and persons with chronic illnesses such as heart failure and end-stage renal disease.
There are a multitude of educational opportunities with respect to health services research at KUMC. Core concepts are taught through methods and statistics graduate-level courses offered by Biostatistics, Health Policy & Management, Nursing, and Preventive Medicine. Graduate students can enhance those cores with applied and specialized courses also offered through those departments: e.g., pharmacoepidemiology, health economics, cost-effectiveness and decision analysis, advanced statistical methods (numerous offerings), health care management, outcomes, health care law, policy and administration, and qualitative methods.
In addition to research and teaching responsibilities, our faculty contribute to a number of local and regional community service projects: the Kansas City Community Health Record, the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care on Administrative Simplification, the Community Health Center Executive Fellowship program, the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium, the Kansas Diabetes Advisory Council, and Kansas Heart Disease Advisory Council. National professional service activities encompass abstract reviews for several health services associations, the Falls Reduction Consortium for nursing homes, the Academy for Healthcare Improvement on developing professional education resources, Academy Health Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues, and the National Quality Forum's Technical Advisory Panel for Therapeutic Drug Management Quality.
There is an exceptional interface with the public health agencies as well. Notably, health services researchers at KUMC provide critical insight to the Kansas Health Policy Authority, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Department of Aging, and other state agencies.