CLINICAL RESEARCH EXCELLENCE: Rachel Bolton, RN,
of Radiation Oncology, discusses her poster
describing a peer-mentoring program for children
receiving radiation therapy at Clinical Research Day.
In welcoming MGHers to the ninth annual Clinical Research Day Oct. 6, Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, expressed his belief that “Clinical effectiveness research is one of the answers to perhaps the most vexing problem facing our health care system.” To keep the costs of care in line with the country’s ability to afford it, he explained, finding ways to innovate and improve the delivery of care could be the only alternative to the extreme scenario of care rationing.
Keynote speaker Carolyn Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – the federal agency focused on improving the “quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness” of health care – noted that, while advances in biomedical science now give patients and clinicians several options for almost every clinical decision, what is missing is information that can guide those choices. Describing increased resources for clinical effectiveness research included in both the 2009 Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Act, she stressed, “Our health care system is desperate for this kind of work.”
The poster session, featuring presentations from 240 research teams (for more information, access www2.massgeneral.org/crp/CRDayawardwinners2011.html), was followed by a panel discussion about the impact of clinical effectiveness research at academic centers. David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, of the Mongan Institute
for Health Policy at the MGH, noted clinical effectiveness studies will raise new biological questions that present further research opportunities. David F. Torchiana, MD, chairman and CEO of the MGPO, stressed that “When you give cost effective care, you give better care.” Slavin described some of the strides the MGH has made in clinical effectiveness research, including the hospitalwide process improvement program, clinical innovation awards and department-based care improvement efforts. And Clancy noted that successful clinical effectiveness research will require collaboration with patients, caregivers and other members of the wider community.
“Linking our current operations improvement events with extensive training in clinical effectiveness offers the MGH exciting potential to continue its leadership through the upcoming changes in health care delivery,” says William Crowley, MD, director of the MGH Clinical Research Program. “That is why we chose this theme, and this exceptional panel was quite enlightening in outlining some of these future opportunities.”
Read more articles from the 10/21/11 Hotline issue.