As defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Health services research examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs and what happens to patients as a result of this care. The main goals of health services research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors and improve patient safety.”
Over the years, our department has conducted health services research, but it has been compartmentalized. In an effort to formalize and centralize these efforts, we established the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Health Services Research Program. This program is led by Melissa A. Pynnonen, M.D., who recently completed her master’s in health and health care research here at U-M through the one-year Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Still in the early stages of development, current goals for the program include improving quality of care across the department, beginning with common otolaryngologic problems such as thyroid surgery, sinusitis and tonsillectomy, as well as securing NIH funding. The program will also incorporate an educational element, providing residents and fellows the opportunity to participate if desired.