Healthcare Delivery
Research Blog


HDRP and colleagues in DCCPS’ Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program have partnered to release a statement of interest to receive investigator-initiated applications in the area of cancer and emergency medicine.  Hospital-based emergency departments evaluate and manage patients with a wide variety of oncologic emergencies, which is becoming increasingly more common because of more patients being treated with outpatient regimens.  When presented with a cancer patient, emergency departments must quickly evaluate clinical, laboratory, and radiographic tests, and they are often required to manage complex critical conditions, sometimes with few or no clinical records.


HDRP and the ECRI Institute co-hosted the conference, Cancer Care Delivery in a Rapidly Changing Healthcare System, on November 17-18, 2015.  Over the two days, we heard from some of the nation’s leaders in cancer care delivery who discussed how research evidence is used to make decisions.  HDRP Acting Associate Director, Dr. Ann Geiger, closed the conference with several insightful remarks about health care delivery research that are worth highlighting.  First, she commented that our understanding of the biology of cancer is rapidly evolving, and that there may be unrealistic expectations about how quickly precision medicine can deliver improved outcomes. While patients currently live with cancer for years, if not decades, there continues to be dialogue about “waging a war... Read more

conferenceshealthcare delivery

Thanks to Congress keeping the federal government open, I had a chance to attend the AHRQ Research Conference on October 4, 2015.  I thought I would share a few observations.

The Plenary and literature on display vividly illustrated the richness of activities underway at AHRQ.  Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of AcademyHealth, opened the session by reflecting on the importance of AHRQ-supported activities.  Mary Wakefield, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave an overview of how AHRQ activities fit within the broader context of HHS.  The highlight of the plenary was Rick Kronick, Director of AHRQ, quantifying the impact of their work.  He focused on safety and quality as particular success stories.  An estimated 1.3 million medical errors, 50,000 deaths, and $12 billion in spending were avoided because of AHRQ research and tools.  That’s a lot for just a few years!  And there is no arguing the societal good of these reductions. ... Read more


The American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a Forum: Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates through Enhanced Partnerships between Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalitions and Federally Qualified Health Centers. The Forum was attended by 140+ participants on September 16-17, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal of the  Forum was to help states achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% by 2018. Participants heard from selected speakers who shared evidence-based strategies and tools to support eleven, six-member state teams.  The teams were comprised of a Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Director, State Primary Care Association representative, ACS health systems manager, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) representative, and two others such as a health department... Read more


The International Screening Network met in Rotterdam, Netherlands this year and has been gathering regularly since the late 1980s.  It was started by Sam Shapiro, the father of cancer screening. He developed and ran the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) randomized trial that created the evidence used to argue for and about mammography for 40 years.  Pretty important data. He thought we could merge breast cancer data from organized programs across Europe and the US.  I attended my first meeting with him 20 years ago in Florence where we realized that merging data was not happening quickly. We could, however, identify common questions, and 20 years later a group of 20 people has grown into a more than 200 researchers whose collaboration has directly resulted in nearly 500 publications.  The meeting this year included workshops on overdiagnosis, primary care's role in cancer... Read more