RAND Europe working with The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute

Illustration of medical team and equipment

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What is THIS Institute?

The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute aims to create a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS by strengthening the evidence-base for improving the quality and safety of healthcare.

Co-created by the University of Cambridge and the Health Foundation, THIS Institute is founded on the guiding principle that efforts to improve care should be based on the best quality evidence.

The institute is boosting research activity to provide more clarity on what works in improving healthcare, what doesn’t, and why. THIS Institute will combine academic rigour with the real concerns of patients and staff. Therefore, the institute has made a commitment to work in partnership with NHS patients and staff and other collaborators throughout the UK.

Visit the website of THIS Institute

RAND Europe’s Role

RAND Europe is a key partner of THIS Institute. Our main role is supporting the high quality research of THIS Institute throughout the period 2018–2028. RAND Europe researchers work with THIS Institute on numerous research projects focused on how to improve healthcare in the NHS.

RAND Europe’s THIS Institute Projects

  • Seven features of safety in maternity units

    Researchers identified seven features of safety in maternity units and summarised them into a framework, named For Us (For Unit Safety). The features appear to have a synergistic character, such that each feature is necessary but not sufficient on its own: they operate in concert through multiple forms of feedback and amplification.

    08 Dec 2022

  • Communicating research evidence to health and care governance boards

    A study of health and care board members in England found that boards engage with research evidence in various capacities when making decisions, but many expressed an appetite for improving the ways and extent to which research evidence is used at the board level.

    28 Sep 2021

  • Examining the use of Paediatric Early Warning Systems in the UK

    A diverse range of paediatric early warning (PEW) systems are commonly used across the UK, particularly in acute settings. A review of their use uncovered a growing interest amongst some healthcare decisionmakers in the potential of using a standardised system.

    25 Jan 2021

  • Reviewing the use and effectiveness of arts-based approaches for public engagement with research

    To raise awareness about a research topic, increase research impact, or help inform the research process and direction, taking an arts-based approach may help to engage the public.

    11 Jan 2021

  • What influences improvement processes in healthcare?

    Although many healthcare organisations are engaging in activities to improve the quality of healthcare, there are still considerable challenges in doing so. Additional research on quality improvement could help inform a better understanding of how improvements in patient care can be achieved and sustained.

    15 Sep 2020

  • Examining innovation in citizen science

    Advances in technologies, together with new opportunities for integrating diverse data sources, are enabling innovative methods of data collection in citizen science projects, but new risks have also emerged as the field evolves.

    17 Feb 2020

  • Enabling public contributions to health research

    Patient and public involvement (PPI) in health research can take place at different levels and across stages of a research cycle. Despite challenges, the growing focus on and increased commitment to PPI over the past decade has revealed some key enabling mechanisms and rewards.

    15 Feb 2019

  • How to enable NHS staff to contribute to healthcare research

    The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute sought evidence of why and how NHS staff contribute to healthcare research, as well as their associated engagement challenges and potential enabling mechanisms.

    12 Dec 2018

  • Citizen science generates ideas and explores consensus

    Citizen science-based idea management platforms offer a digital social space to generate, discuss, refine and evaluate ideas. Additionally, a variety of methods exist for exploring expert consensus, many of which are Delphi-based. Researchers provide a practical overview of online approaches to opinion gathering.

    16 Aug 2018

  • Citizen science: crowdsourcing for systematic reviews

    Systematic reviews are often time-consuming and costly. In the second of a three-part learning report series, RAND Europe researchers outline how crowdsourcing can make the systematic review process more efficient without sacrificing quality.

    21 Jun 2018

  • The potential of citizen science for research

    Through a rapid review of the available literature and interviews with four experts, researchers compiled a practical overview of crowdsourcing in citizen science. The report highlights the benefits of crowdsourcing, best tools to use, and best practices.

    24 May 2018