Improvement Research Priorities: USA Survey and Expert Consensus

Stevens & Ovretveit (2013) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

improvement science

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

One motive for this work was a felt need by a USA national improvement research network to create a strategy for improvement research and a consensus about priorities. Founders of this network emphasized collaboration between researchers in different centers and services so as to maximize the use and value of improvement research. The leaders took the view that consensus-based research priorities would serve as a common rallying point for improvement scientists and clinical leaders to collaborate around common research goals.

What was the objective?

to identify stakeholder views about national priorities for improvement science and build agreement for action in a national improvement and implementation research network in the USA

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 4 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

Delphi; survey

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: literature review to identify topics, 33 topics identified. Step 2: survey: participants were asked to rate each topic and asked to suggest additional topics. Step 3: consensus development: meeting with Delphi process, panel members were presented with top 10 priorities from survey and premeeting priorities selected by the panel on the same survey, panel members discussed their opinions on the importance of these topics, panel members casted votes by completing same survey as before and by ranking their top 3 improvement strategies, panel then debated results of second voting and derived list of four research priorities

Which stakeholders took part?

Healthcare professionals, researchers, academics, clinicians, administrators, health service personnel. Survey: 560 participants: 46% researchers, 34% clinical administrators or managers, 13% frontline clinicians. Delphi: 14 experts representing clinical, academic, science, and management roles in the USA and one international expert.

How were stakeholders recruited?

All healthcare professionals attending a quality improvement conference event were invited to fill in the survey. Furthermore, the target sample for the survey was compiled from several lists. These lists included purchased lists from professional societies (e.g., healthcare executive associations, health scientist groups), a commercial list of multiple disciplines focused on improvement, and an internal improvement practice-and-research list which had been built over 10 years from a variety of sources. Experts in their field were invited to participate in the Delphi process.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.