All across the country, in hospitals and other acute care settings, new strategies to improve the safety and quality of patient care are being devised and tested. Patient safety and quality improvement in bedside care are national priorities; yet insufficient progress has been made in quality improvement science, particularly in the area of multidisciplinary care processes within the hospital setting.
The Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN) is a consortium of clinical and academic scholars that systematically studies quality improvement strategies in acute care settings. As the only National Institutes of Health-supported Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN), our mission is to advance the scientific foundation for quality improvement, safety, and efficiency through transdisciplinary research addressing healthcare systems, patient-centeredness, and integration of evidence into practice. The ISRN fills a national gap in research approaches in improvement science, creating a central structure upon which to build a sustainable, comprehensive network for improvement research within acute care settings. The ISRN is composed of national members, the ISRN Coordinating Center, and a Steering Council. A unique technology infrastructure connects the network and supports the conduct and dissemination of improvement research studies.
The ISRN Coordinating Center is located in the Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in conjunction with the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) of University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. The ISRN is founded on a longstanding commitment to translational research and evidence-based practice.
The network is guided by a Steering Council composed of visionary experts across disciplines. Their positions span the spectrum of private and public institutions and organizations for which improved patient outcomes are an ongoing concern. Likewise, the aggregate expertise of the group reflects advanced knowledge in applying systems thinking to healthcare improvement, patient safety research, participatory action research, appreciative inquiry, community engagement, science, bioinformatics and data support, and knowledge management.
The very nature of improvement science requires an interprofessional approach to systems change. The ISRN recruits and engages health professionals for collaboration and network membership. To direct the research priorities of the ISRN and its members, the network solicits, through a web survey, the interests and opinions of those professionals most concerned with improving care. Data collected from the survey is guiding consensus on a national research agenda and identifying services to provide to future members.
The ISRN creates an environment in which members can come together to conduct rigorous research and receive guidance from topic experts in improvement science strategies. The ISRN is an innovative multi-site, national clinical laboratory through which research in this field can be rapidly increased an the findings can be rapidly disseminated.
If you have questions about the Improvement Science Research Network, please contact an ISRN Center representative by email at ImprovementScienceResearch@isrn.net or by telephone at 210-567-1480. We will be happy to provide you with more information about this pioneering collaborative research network.
Visit www.ISRN.net to learn more about the ISRN and about upcoming events sponsored by the ISRN.