Health Systems Research in Oregon


AcademyHealth, a leading professional and advocacy group in the United States, defines health services research as the following:

…The multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations.


For CHSE, the "systems" in "systems research" alludes to both the research we do on actual health-system entities such as payers and providers as well as a broader "systems thinking" approach that acknowledges the complexity involved in a multifaceted endeavor such as health care. This systems research includes a multiplicity of actors: patients, purchasers, payers, clinicians, hospitals and health systems, vendors, and others.

The Triple Aim

In Oregon and at OHSU, health care service delivery reform is targeted around three interrelated goals, defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as the "Triple Aim:"

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
  • Improving the health of populations; and
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care.

The Triple Aim serves as an implicit yardstick for evaluation of service delivery improvements in CHSE's research.