Bringing health services research to (and from) critical care
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Health services research has the potential to improve the care provided to patients in critical care settings by informing the decisions of managers and policy makers who establish many of the rules within which critical care is provided. Living up to this potential requires health services researchers in critical care to enhance the relevance of their research for managerial and policy decision makers and to undertake initiatives to increase the uptake of this research by these decision makers. Researchers can begin by asking questions from the perspective of managers and policy makers, not just from the perspective of patients and clinicians. Researchers can also design studies that will generate valid and generalizable research findings that can be acted on by these decision makers, not just studies that describe a problem or test new methods to describe a problem. Health services research is, after all, an applied field. But researchers may not want to stop there: they can engage in coordinated efforts to facilitate the uptake of their re-search findings, and do so by drawing on our evolving understanding of what works best with these decision makers. Opportunities such as the relaunch of a journal that takes seriously the challenge of informing decision making do not come along often. We hope researchers will rise to the challenge.
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