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This book provides practical guidance on using information systems effectively to answer questions posed by a variety of stakeholders in the U.S. health care system, including consumers, purchasers, providers, and health system administrators. Providing an introduction to health services research techniques, the authors discuss the use of various data sources for analysis, as well as the integration of these data sources and the application of different analytic techniques to answering key policy questions. This book offers a broad overview of the critical issues in using information systems, as well as a technical section that addresses analytic topics of concern to researchers and analysts working in private and public sector groups responsible for purchasing, managing, delivering, and regulating health care services.

Table of Contents

  • Part One

    Health Information Systems: An Overview for Policymakers

    • Chapter One

      Building an Integrated Information System

    • Chapter Two

      Data Sources for an Integrated Information System

    • Chapter Three

      What Consumers of Research Need to Know About Analysis

    • Chapter Four

      Thinking Strategically About Information Systems

  • Part Two

    Technical Issues in Designing and Improving Health Information Systems

    • Chapter Five

      Description of Data Sources and Related Issues

    • Chapter Six

      General Analysis Issues

    • Chapter Seven

      Developing and Using a Clinical Information System

    • Chapter Eight

      An Overview of Methods for Conducting Surveys

    • Chapter Nine

      An Overview of Risk Adjustment

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and performed under the auspices of RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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