ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a common goal of making healthcare better, safer, more cost-effective, and more equal, nearly 400 health researchers from across the University of Michigan and partner organizations have formed one of the nation's largest research entities of its kind.
The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, which opened its new home just days ago, unites members of an already strong healthcare research community in the field known as health services research.
From cancer, heart disease and diabetes to children's health, surgery and mental health, IHPI's members study topics in healthcare delivery, coverage and policy.
Working together through IHPI, the researchers expect they can accelerate their studies on how healthcare is delivered today, and their tests of innovations that could improve health care, health insurance and health policy tomorrow.
The opening of a new home for IHPI -- in a dedicated building at UM's North Campus Research Complex -- arrives on the third anniversary of UM's purchase of that site.
The first 80 IHPI researchers and staff moved in to the newly-renovated building last week, and more than 400 more will move there in coming months, creating a hub of activity and cooperation that will be one of the nation's largest concentrations of healthcare policy and services researchers. In all, IHPI includes nearly 400 faculty researchers plus hundreds of professional staff and trainees.
"We truly expect IHPI to become the largest university-based collection of health services and healthcare policy researchers in the country, and to pursue research that will enhance the health and well-being of people locally, nationally and globally," says Rodney Hayward, M.D., chair of the interim leadership team that has guided IHPI's formation over the past year. He is a professor of internal medicine at the UM Medical School, a researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and a faculty member in the U-M School of Public Health.
Just over half the members of IHPI are faculty in the UM Medical School, where IHPI is based, and nearly a quarter are from the UM School of Public Health. The rest come from UM's colleges of Engineering, Pharmacy, and Literature, Science & the Arts, its schools of Business, Dentistry, Law, Nursing, Public Policy and Social Work, and its Institute for Social Research.
A full 12% of IHPI members hold full or joint appointments at one of IHPI's partners: the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and its Center for Clinical Management Research, the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (a joint venture between UM and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan), or other partners.
IHPI's faculty and staff who have moved or will move to NCRC are joining more than 1,300 researchers and staff from UM and 20 private companies at the site.
IHPI members' work is mainly computer-based, but a $13.7 million renovation of a former office building has created space that encourages collaboration and spontaneous meetings. IHPI will also offer computing support and facilities.
By analyzing large amounts of data from hospitals, government agencies, medical societies, insurance companies and other sources, the IHPI researchers hope to spot problems and trends, evaluate how well new treatments and technologies work, and identify ways to improve quality, safety, equity and cost-effectiveness.
The formation of IHPI will give them access to new tools, partnerships and data sources – and allow them to share ideas more readily.
For more information, including a list of the UM faculty and research groups that make up IHPI, visit http://ihpi.umich.edu/.
Source: University of Michigan Health System