The faculty and staff of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research collaborate in and across specialized research sections.
Section of Biomedical Ethics
Investigators in the Section of Biomedical Ethics of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research study ethical issues raised by advances in medicine and the biomedical sciences.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring fair access to prenatal care
- Expanding access to regenerative medicine
- Improving patient understanding of complex diagnostic technologies
- Increasing utilization of advanced directives
- Promoting the ethical use of new forms of transplantation
Faculty members in the Section of Biomedical Ethics provide institutional and national leadership on these and other ethical issues raised by translational research and efforts to integrate new medical technologies into patient care.
Section of Health Care Systems Engineering
The Section of Health Care Systems Engineering applies engineering expertise and infrastructure to evaluate, design and re-engineer health care delivery operations. The section's goal is to improve health, enhance the care experience, and contain or reduce the costs of health care delivery. The section consists of two teams: the Human Factors Engineering and Systems Integration Team and the Information and Decision Engineering Team.
Human Factors Engineering and Systems Integration Team
The Human Factors Engineering and Systems Integration Team collaborates with clinicians, scientists and patients to identify and solve critical health care issues. Partnerships between medical providers and engineers employ engineering methodology to solve complex health care problems and improve quality of life for patients.
The team has expertise in human systems integration, human factors engineering and ergonomics. The team focuses on improving technologies and the efficiency of health care systems within the physical and psychological limitations of clinicians, staff and patients.
The Human Factors Engineering and Systems Integration Team's research has impacted patient care by studying and helping implement validated methodologies to measure surgeon physical and cognitive workload. Reducing workload can allow surgeons to operate more safely and stay in the operating room longer.
Information and Decision Engineering Team
The Information and Decision Engineering Team conducts research in mathematical and computational sciences and applies engineering principles to advance health and the delivery of health care. The team has expertise in areas including operations research, statistics, informatics and artificial intelligence. Research focuses on quantitative modeling, designing interventions, and evaluating processes and systems of health care.
By studying ways to more efficiently schedule patients, the Information and Decision Engineering Team's research has had a positive impact on patient care, including increased patient access to health care.
Section of Health Services Research
The members of the Section of Health Services Research all have strong quantitative design and analysis skills. Their primary area of interest is in collaborative research on:
- Health care economics
- Implementation evaluations
- Patient outcomes
- Quality and safety measurement
- Systematic reviews
Faculty members in the Section of Health Services Research provide scientific leadership to:
The section's research focuses on important topics relevant to patient care and institutional priorities. Recent work includes important findings on opioid use after surgery, ensuring and improving safety and quality, and incorporating patient-reported information into clinical practice.
Members hold important roles in national policy issues through committee membership with the National Quality Forum and national and international professional societies.
Section of Social and Behavioral Sciences
The scientists in the Section of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research represent a diversity of disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences, including:
- Health promotion
- Preventive medicine
- Public health
- Social and health psychology
- Social epidemiology
Drawing upon this diversity of expertise, the section is engaged in collaborative research efforts across multiple topic areas, using a wide variety of methodological approaches to better understand, predict and influence social and behavioral factors to improve health and well-being. The group's work addresses socio-behavioral factors relevant to a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including cancer, diabetes and obesity.