On April 29th, 2011, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and participant registration fees, the first annual conference on """"""""Improving Quality Improvement (QI) Research and Evaluation Methods,"""""""" was held. The conference was sponsored by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), the professional home for academic general pediatrics. The 101 conference attendees overwhelmingly rated the conference as excellent (4.11 on a 5 point scale) and strongly indicated the need for similar future conferences. Thus, this application is a proposal in response to PA-09-231 to hold a second annual one-day methods conference on designing, implementing, and disseminating QI research. Although the primary focus of the proposed second annual conference is similar to the first, i.e., the science of QI Research, the specific content has been modified to include several new areas not covered previously as well as areas of high interest suggested by attendees of the first conference. Specifically, breakout session leaders and conference participants will engage in interactive sessions focused on topics including: quasi-experimental approaches such as stepped wedge designs and interrupted time series;use of statistical process control in QI evaluation;use of mixed methods including formative evaluation/qualitative analysis;navigation and statistical management of large databases;use of patient registries in QI research;risk adjustment;and publishing and disseminating QI research results. In response to evaluations from the first conference, many of the breakout sessions will be offered two times during the course of the day, with some at an introductory level and others at a more advanced level. The program also provides greater opportunities for meeting participants to interact with leaders of organizations engaged in frontline QI intervention implementation including: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Quality Improvement and Innovations Network (QUIIN), the American Academy of Family Physicians'Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet), the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS) Network, and the AAP Pediatric Research in Outpatient Settings (PROS) Network. This program is intended to complement and promote AHRQ's core research and implementation activities by providing a mechanism for Agency stakeholders and others to (1) gain a better understanding of how to apply health services research and epidemiological methods for quality improvement research relevant to children, (2) disseminate and implement QI research information that may be useful to evaluate health care delivery, and (3) improve the quality and effectiveness of health care, with special attention to care for children. Similar to the inaugural AHRQ funded version of this conference, to promote broad attendance, we will schedule the meeting one day before the 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting (April 27, 2012). Products of the meeting will include a series of white papers related to methodological issues in pediatric QI research and evaluation, which will be disseminated through the APA website and appropriate publications.
Although the importance of quality improvement (QI) for pediatric health care has been established, substantial gaps in the knowledge and understanding of QI research remain. Generating evidence to describe the effectiveness of specific QI interventions is challenging. This conference seeks to disseminate and advance state-of-the-art research methods for QI research relevant to pediatric care (eg, quasi-experimental approaches such as stepped wedge designs and interrupted time series;use of statistical process control in QI evaluation;use of mixed methods including formative evaluation/qualitative analysis;navigation and statistical management of large databases;use of patient registries in QI research;risk adjustment;and publishing and disseminating QI research results). The conference will also facilitate networking at the national level and thus enhance collaboration and advancement of QI science in pediatric health care. The ultimate goal of the conference is to further develop the science and common language of pediatric QI research in support of improved child health and health care.