R&E-hosted conferences inspire patient-centered research

The Department of Research & Evaluation hosted 2 conferences that stretched the frontiers of health care in 2019. One focused on turning data into research with an impact on clinical practice. The other focused on improving health system–based embedded research programs.

“As an organization, we are on the forefront of conducting research to directly benefit our patients,” said Steven J. Jacobsen, MD, PhD, senior director of research for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “We have an obligation to share our experiences as a learning health care system, which is one designed to develop new evidence as an integral part of patient care.”

“These 2 conferences brought together others in the field to inspire innovative patient-centered research throughout the research community,” Dr. Jacobsen added.

In September 2019, more than 275 people attended the 4-day American College of Epidemiology Annual Meeting in Pasadena. The theme of the meeting was “Real-World Epidemiologic Evidence in Policy and Practice.” It was one of the best-attended conferences in the recent history of ACE.

“What we wanted was to get participants to think beyond just getting that grant and publishing that paper,” said Dr. Jacobsen, who was elected by his peers as president-elect of ACE during the conference. “We really wanted to promote the relevance of research to public policy and clinical practice.”

The conference concluded with a keynote address by Anne Schuchat, MD, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She illustrated the importance of epidemiologic studies in shaping public policy with specific examples such as measles outbreaks, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates, and HIV prevention.

Earlier in the year, in February, more than 100 leaders and experts in the learning health care systems movement met for “Accelerating the Development of Learning Healthcare Systems Through Embedded Research.”

The intent of the expert meeting was to grow and improve programs with research embedded into clinical practice, said Michael K. Gould, MD, MS, the director of R&E’s Division of Health Services Research & Implementation Science.

Dr. Gould told attendees that, by embedding researchers in their health care systems, organizations like Kaiser Permanente can make continuous improvements in the quality, safety, and value of patient care. At the same time, they contribute to scientific knowledge nationally and globally.

The conference was co-hosted by AcademyHealth. It was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Service.

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