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What is Health Services Research?

Health Services Research (HSR) is most easily described as research directly involving patients or groups of patients, but excluding early phase clinical studies, which are now commonly referred to as "Experimental Medicine".

It can be more formally defined as research which aims to improve patient outcomes (safety, effectiveness and experience) and evaluate the organisation, management, finances, and delivery of healthcare. HSR encompasses clinical epidemiology and clinical trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of interventions (phase III, health technology assessment).

Basic science (animal and 'bench-top') studies and early stage safety and efficacy clinical trials (phase I & II) are generally not considered to be HSR.