What Have We Learned About...

These short, non-technical summaries are intended for decisionmakers, with a focus on policy-relevant findings from our published, peer-reviewed studies. For the interested reader, links to the published papers are provided within the summaries.

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    What Have We Learned About Measuring Health System Performance?

    The absence of a consistent definition of what constitutes high performance, and consensus about how to measure it, hinders our ability to compare, motivate, and reward health systems based on performance. This synthesis piece presents RAND research findings and lessons learned about measuring health system performance.

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    What Have We Learned About Health Systems?

    Health systems vary widely in size and ownership type, complexity of organization and governance arrangements, and investment in care delivery transformation. Because of this, general assumptions about health systems are unwarranted.

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    What Have We Learned About the Economic Effects of Vertical Integration?

    In a series of studies, a research team from the RAND Center of Excellence on Health System Performance explored trends in vertical integration and its implications by examining how it affects referrals and spending for high volume services such as diagnostic imaging, laboratory testing, outpatient surgical procedures (such as knee replacement), and other outpatient procedures (such as colonoscopy).

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    What Have We Learned About Leveraging Health Information Technology to Improve Health System Performance?

    Adoption of electronic health records and other health information technology has expanded rapidly among hospitals and physicians. Health IT, if used effectively, could be a powerful tool for improving quality and reducing costs. This synthesis piece presents RAND research findings and lessons learned about leveraging health information technology (HIT) to improve health system performance.

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    What Have We Learned About Health Care Consolidation?

    Researchers from RAND’s Center of Excellence on Health System Performance scrutinized clinically integrated networks as part of a larger study to identify the characteristics of high performing health systems. This synthesis piece presents RAND research findings and lessons learned about consolidating health systems.

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    What Have We Learned About Safety Net Providers and Integrated Care?

    This synthesis piece examines strategies that community health centers are using to better coordinate care with specialists, hospitals, and social service organizations and explores whether the strategies promote better integrated, evidence-based care.