To improve the performance of health systems for the population in Singapore and beyond through cutting-edge, pragmatic health services and systems research
• Promote capacity for health care professionals to do and use health services research• Generate improvements in health outcomes and quality of life from new studies and the implementation of best practice• Advance the state of the science in health services and systems research• Promote the efficient use of health care resources
Those who manage health services find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The rock is new demand for services arising from population changes and new technology. The hard place is that resources to supply health care will always be insufficient to meet al the demands made.
The only sensible response to this dilemma is to improve the performance of health services and extract additional value and health benefit from available resources. This requires that wasteful services are removed, and then resources moved away from low value care and towards higher value care. Health Services Research is the study of the funding, organisation and delivery of health services. It has these features:
• Involves multidisciplinary perspectives• Outcomes are usually at the population level rather than the individual• This contrasts with clinical research which emphasizes individuals• It can emerge from simple methods and existing data• It is often led by clinicians collaborating with teams of researchers• It can reduce waste and inefficiency, and make an immediate impact on the health of thousands• Strong designs such as RCT are great but often these designs are not possible for ethical or funding reasons• Good Health Services Research helps us make decisions we believe will improve services• It is rarely done in a controlled experimental environment, but mostly in a messy complex one.