A large gap currently exists in our understanding of health services for children and adolescents. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has called for new research in the areas of outcomes, quality, cost, use, and access in order to improve health care services for children. They have also acknowledged the need to "nourish" investigators who are conducting child-relevant health services research. Currently a limited number of conferences are available to investigators that specialize in pediatric health services research. The options that are available are very traditional in their format, large-scale in their size, and may not focus exclusively on pediatric health services research. Therefore, we are proposing that an annual symposium (i.e., Annual Symposium for Pediatric Health Services Research) be held that will: (1) Bring together established and young pediatric health services investigators to discuss the most current, cutting edge research in the field, (2) Offer networking opportunities across institutions that will lead to multi-institutional pediatric health services research collaborations, (3) Provide career development and mentorship for junior pediatric health services researchers, and (4) Produce forward-looking white papers on future directions of pediatric health services research that will be disseminated using traditional communication strategies and more advanced methods such as social media. Building on the success of our 1st Annual Symposium held in the fall of 2011 at the Indiana University School of Medicine, our future symposiums will offer a balance between plenary and small-group breakout sessions. We will also provide numerous opportunities for networking and informal conversations. The meeting will also be innovative in how its content is disseminated utilizing traditional techniques such as journal supplement publication, as well as more advanced methods of content dissemination including podcasts, updates, and blogs. The Annual Symposium for Pediatric Health Services Research will focus on research development (i.e., conferences where issues or challenges in the practice and delivery of health care are defined and a research agenda or strategy for studying them is developed) as well as research training, infrastructure and career development (i.e., conferences where faculty, trainees and students are brought together with stakeholders to develop, share or disseminate research products, experiences, curricula, syllabi, or training competencies). The symposium will provide a compelling and informative meeting covering a different AHRQ interest area each year. The areas we propose to cover are pediatric comparative effectiveness research (2013), pediatric-focused health care innovations and emerging areas (2014) and pediatric-focused health information technology (2015).
A large gap currently exists in our understanding of health services for children and adolescents, prompting organizations such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to call for new research in the areas of outcomes, quality, cost, use, and access in order to improve health care services for children. There is also recognition that investigators who are conducting child-relevant health services research must be supported in their efforts. The proposed Annual Symposium for Pediatric Health Services Research will allow pediatric health services researchers to meet and network in a novel and necessary way to improve the ways we conduct research in order to advance how we provide and finance care for children nationwide.