Health Services Research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and process, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, communities and populations.
(Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, 2000)
Through Essentia Health, an integrated healthcare system, researchers at the Essentia Institute of Rural Health have access to a large rural patient population across four states.
Through rigorous research, the Essentia Institute of Rural Health identifies needs and deficiencies in rural health care and investigates innovative solutions to resolve disparities. As new information is gathered, that knowledge is put into practice across the Essentia Health system.
An electronic data warehouse combines health and other information from disparate sources across Essentia Health, creating an important foundation for conducting research. Projects are managed through an integrated research information system (iRIS), which is an electronic platform for conducting research.
Additionally, the institute is a conduit for academic health centers to access rural patient populations and collaborate in research and educational activities. Our proximity to the University of Minnesota Medical School – Duluth Campus allows for collaboration and shared resources.