First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research kicks off in Switzerland

February 23, 2016

"Research into health systems aims to improve health care delivery; however, multiple definitions of this type of research exist and this lack of clarity is negatively affecting the credibility, and hence progress, of this research," argue the authors of a paper published in PLoS Medicine to coincide with the Health System Research conference, according to a PLoS press release (11/15). In the paper, the authors offer "working definitions of operational research, implementation research, and health systems research in the context of research to strengthen health systems, with the intention of providing greater clarity and consistency for non-specialists, scientists, policymakers, and donors," they write.

Through these definitions, the authors write, "we seek to provide a simple framework that is easily understood by both experts in the field and the managers, policy makers, and donors working to improve health systems and deliver better health care. We have tried to map the three main research domains, the research targets, and the users, and to highlight the importance of context and study design in the subsequent utility of the research findings. ...To improve health care delivery to poor populations, all of these research domains are very much needed," they write (Remme et al., 11/16).

This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.