The Center for Healthcare Quality Research and Data Science in the School of Nursing conducts research and provides research support for internal and external projects and collaborates across health disciplines. Faculty use a wide variety of statistical and methodological approaches. Faculty and affiliates of the center also engage in health care quality measure development, dissemination and implementation studies, and omics-based precision health research.
Health Services Research
Health services research (HSR) identifies the most effective ways to organize and deliver high quality healthcare; reduce adverse events; and improve patient safety. A multidisciplinary field of inquiry, HSR examines the structure of care, including the care setting, nursing workforce characteristics, and the work environment; nursing care processes, and patient quality and safety outcomes. HSR studies also examine health disparities and the dissemination and implementation of advances in care.
Dissemination and Implementation Research
Each year, billions of U.S. tax dollars are spent on healthcare research, yet an enormous gap remains between research discovery and its use in health care delivery. Implementation science aims to close this gap by building a knowledge base about how empirically derived interventions and innovations are translated into practice. It is a field that encompasses both dissemination and implementation research. Dissemination research is the scientific study of the targeted distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience.
With the rapid growth in health information technology, vast quantities of data are being accumulated. However, administrators, clinicians and many researchers don't know how to access the data they need or how to conduct the analysis required to extract information from the data. There is a national and international need to produce more health data scientists, but the lack of persons skilled in designing, developing and using big data from health information technology is extreme.
The advance of precision health depends on the ability to examine omics. "Omics" is a collective term that integrates important features of disparate disciplines including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, microbiome and transcriptomics. The key feature of omics is that it seamlessly blends together features of biological knowledge that reflect the complexity and diversity of living systems in context over time. Findings from omics-based studies can assist clinicians to more precisely identify molecular characteristics of health, diseases, illnesses and illness responses, and identify which patients are best suited for specific medications or treatments. Furthermore, a new wave of diagnostic information actually incorporates itself into treatments by suggesting very specific molecular endpoints of personalized treatments in nursing, medicine and other health professions.
Nurse scientists hold a unique and important role in advancing omics sciences, as they hold a long-standing value for person-centered approaches.