On April 27th, 2012, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) and participant registration fees, the 2nd annual conference on "Advancing Quality Improvement Science for Children's Health Care Research," was held in conjunction with the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. The conference was sponsored by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), the professional home for academic general pediatrics and by the Department of Health Evidence &Policy of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which accredited the conference for 7.75 hours of CME. The 150 conference attendees overwhelmingly rated the conference as excellent (4.21 on a 5 point scale) and strongly indicated the ongoing need for similar future conferences. Thus, in response to PA-09-231 we propose to hold a third annual one-day methods conference on designing, implementing, and disseminating quality improvement (QI) research. Based on 2012 conference evaluations, we will increase the number of breakout sessions offered and will include new topic areas of high interest suggested by attendees as well as highly rated sessions from the first two conferences. Interactive breakout sessions will include: quasi-experimental approaches including: cluster randomized trials, stepped wedge designs and interrupted time series;use of statistical process control in QI research;cost effectiveness analysis in QI research;bridging classical biostatistical methods and QI research;advanced regression methods in QI research;developing quality metrics for QI evaluation research;obtaining QI research funding;and publishing and disseminating QI research results. Responding to suggestions from the 2012 evaluations, the breakout sessions will be offered in two tracks, one introductory and the other advanced. Each participant will be asked to select one of these tracks at the time of registration. Each track will offer 3 or 4 topics in the morning session and 4 in the afternoon session. New to the program will be a plenary session on academic career development for QI researchers that will include successful senior, mid- level, and junior faculty with ample time for questions and answers. The proposed conference complements and promotes AHRQ's core research and implementation activities by providing a mechanism for Agency stakeholders and others to (1) enhance their understanding of how to apply state-of-the art QI research methods in order to improve pediatric care, (2) disseminate and implement QI research information to enhance evaluation of health care delivery, and (3) improve the quality and effectiveness of pediatric health care. As we have done previously, we will promote broad attendance by scheduling the meeting one day before the 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting (May 3rd, 2013). Products of the meeting will include a series of white papers related to methodological issues in pediatric QI research, 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 (e.g., quasi-experimental approaches such as stepped wedge designs and interrupted time series;use of statistical process control in QI evaluation;use of cost effectiveness analyses in QI research;obtaining funding for QI research;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.