Peer Review: Study Section Descriptions

Descriptions of the peer review study sections.
Study Section Name Number of Members Meetings Per Year Functional Statement
Healthcare Systems & Value Research (HSVR) 25 3 This study section is aligned with the AHRQ priorities: Increase accessibility and improve health care affordability, efficiency and cost transparency. This study section covers applications related to descriptive and behavioral analyses of the population's access to and use of expenditures and sources of payment for health care; the availability and costs of private health insurance in the employment-related and non-group markets; the population enrolled in public health insurance coverage and those without health care coverage; and the role of health status in health care use, expenditures, and household decisionmaking, and in health insurance and employment choices. It reviews applications concerned with development of measures, data, tools, and strategies for reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of care within organizations and/or systems of care, and the organization and functioning of the health care system. This focus encompasses system-level and market-level questions as well as investigations of the behavior of health care organizations and individual providers and patients. Issues of health care markets, access, utilization, quality, cost and financing and the provider workforce are germane to this study section's focus. Applications reviewed by this study section typically employ a quantitative, analytical approach to the subject matter, including behavioral modeling of health care system processes; qualitative examinations of the structure of new and emerging health care organizations are a focus as well. Applications containing statistical, economic, and organizational analyses, innovation and emergent issues within systems and econometric modeling typically are reviewed by this study section, as well as applications analyzing large data sets, including medical claims files.
Healthcare Safety & Quality Improvement Research (HSQR) 25 3 This study section is aligned with the AHRQ priority:  make health care safer. It reviews applications relating to identifying risks and hazards that lead to medical errors and identifying solutions to prevent patient injury associated with delivery of health care. The research findings and products encompass providing information on the scope and impact of medical errors on costs, quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care; quality improvement research; examining and improving medical liability; identifying the root causes of threats to patient safety; research focused on healthcare associated infections; and examining effective ways to make system-level changes to help prevent errors and harms. Dissemination and translation of research findings and methods to reduce medical errors, examining effective ways to make system-level changes to help prevent errors, and developing, testing and evaluating various simulation approaches for the purpose of improving the safe delivery of health care. The research methodologies typically reviewed by this study section include both experimental and quasi-experimental designs, demonstrations, and qualitative research projects. Research projects addressing emergent safety issues would also be reviewed in this study section.
Healthcare Information Technology Research (HITR) 25 3 This study section is aligned with the health information technology (IT) research. It reviews applications relating to health IT implementation, identifying challenges to health IT adoption and use; development and testing of health IT quality improvement measures, methods, tools and indicators; and health IT evaluation. Other topics reviewed in this study section include technology assessment, application of information sciences, dissemination of health IT research findings and products to health care practitioners and administrators, policymakers and consumers; and randomized controlled health IT related clinical trials and clinical studies. Research projects addressing emergent issues in health IT would also be reviewed in this study section.
Health Care Effectiveness and Outcomes Research (HEOR) 25 3 This study section is aligned with the AHRQ Priority: improve health care quality by accelerating implementation of patient centered outcomes research.  It reviews applications concerned with the organization and functioning of health care delivery and access to improve  quality and effectiveness; patient-centered and consumer-focused research; evidence-based medicine; quality of care and innovation research; access to care; clinical outcomes and effectiveness research; systematic evaluation of clinical interventions; randomized controlled trials and clinical studies; quality of life/satisfaction research, including studies of patient utilities/morbidity/mortality for broad segments of populations or specific population groups (e.g., nursing home residents, Medicare beneficiaries, minorities, vulnerable populations, rural residents, and children). Applications reviewed generally include the use of clinical (medicine, nursing, and other health care provider disciplines) interventions using sociological, demographic, economic, psychological, anthropologic, and other social science approaches (surveys, in-depth interviews, observations, experimentation, use of various clinical records and data and databases). Applications containing behavioral modeling of health care delivery system processes; qualitative examinations of the structure of new and emerging health care services are considered as well.
Health Care Research Training (HCRT) 25 4 This study section reviews applications requesting support for health services research training and career development at the dissertation, junior faculty, and senior faculty level. Research infrastructure applications are also reviewed in this study section and demonstrations and evaluations in topics spanning the entire spectrum of health services research, including but not limited to cost, quality, access, outcomes, quality and effectiveness research, and implementation and innovation research. The study section will review applications submitted through the auspices of the National Research Service Awards (NRSA) (institutional T32 awards, individual fellowship awards [such as F32 postdoctoral awards and other similar programs]); requesting support for dissertation research (R03), curriculum development, training models, innovations (R25 awards), individual and program career development awards (K series grants), mid-career training enhancement awards, healthcare-related IT training; and training-related conferences and workshops (R13).
Page last reviewed February 2015
Internet Citation: Peer Review: Study Section Descriptions. February 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/process/study-section/peerdesc.html