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Health Services Research and Patient Provider Communication

Welch Center faculty conduct research to help translate evidence into high quality, equitable care. Health services research seeks to understand how the structure, financing, and organization of care delivery influences the type and quality of care patients receive and, ultimately, their health and well-being.

This is especially salient as new models of health care—such as accountable care organizations and primary care medical homes—are increasingly implemented. Welch Center faculty have investigated large databases, for example those generated by insurance claims, performed surveys, and conducted qualitative analyses to examine different aspects of care delivery for patients with cancer, diabetes, serious mental illness, and other health conditions.

At its core, health care delivery takes place in the context of a patient and his or her provider. Understanding the complex dance of communication—what is said verbally, what is said through body language, what is heard and retained, and what is left unsaid—has been a focus of multiple Welch Center projects. Though taping and coding clinical encounters, faculty members have identified how patient-provider communication may underlie trust, disparities, and other aspects of care.

Our faculty members are leaders in the field of health and healthcare disparities research. The Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities is led by Welch Center faculty member Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH. There are many opportunities for trainees to become involved in health disparities research and learning opportunities, including the monthly Health Equity Jam Sessions, an informal opportunity to talk about current and potential research being done in this area.

Welch Center Faculty with research interests in health services research and patient-provider communication include: Wendy Bennett, Mary Catherine Beach, Lisa Cooper, and Gail Daumit.