With concerns regarding the increasing costs of health care in the United States, policymakers have increasingly focused on identifying strategies to improve the health of the U.S. population while simultaneously lowering costs. In this context, health care services research – which the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines as “a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structure and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to healthcare, the quality and cost of healthcare and alternately our health and well-being” – will play an increasingly important role in shaping the organization and delivery of health care in the U.S. over the coming decades.

For anesthesiologists, the growing importance of health care services research in the landscape of health care policy creates important opportunities to contribute to improving the value of the care delivered to the population, particularly in the area...

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