HSR Special Issue: Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Veterans Affairs Quality Enhancement Research Initiative and Evolution of Learning Health Systems

Sponsored by: Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Quality Enhancement Initiative, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Submission deadline for abstracts: July 17, 2023 Extended to August 7, 2023

Health Services Research (HSR) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) are partnering to publish a Special Issue to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the QUERI, with a particular focus on the evolution of improvement science and evidence-based policy methods in a learning health system. The special issue will be edited by Melissa Garrido, PhD, and Amy Kilbourne, PhD.

QUERI was created in 1998 to support the VA’s goal of establishing a learning health system by accelerating the implementation of research into real-world practice. In the 25 years of the QUERI program, initiatives have evolved from implementation of guideline-based care for specific conditions to the conduct of system-wide quality improvement and implementation science efforts. Most recently, QUERI is supporting evidence-based policymaking in the VA through embedded science and policy evaluation.

This special issue aims to highlight scientific contributions and real-world impacts emanating from 25 years of initiatives stemming from QUERI and other learning health systems in the U.S. and abroad that reflect the more rapid translation of research into practice. Submissions are encouraged that highlight empirical implementation, evaluation, or policy research involving health systems; implementation and evaluation of multisite or national programs and policies; emerging translational methods; and new endeavors to train and mentor the future learning health system workforce. Papers must report the results of original investigations. Framework, review, summary, and commentary articles will be solicited separately.

Examples of topic areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Studies involving regional or national implementation and/or evaluation of effective innovations in partnership with leaders, providers, Veterans, and/or other interested parties, including their impact on quality of care
  • National evaluations of program or policies affecting Veterans, patients, caregivers, consumers, or frontline providers, with a focus on at-risk and marginalized populations, that inform evidence-based policy goals
  • Novel implementation, policy evaluation, and quality improvement initiatives involving under-represented scientists or study settings
  • Studies of initiatives to support the future health services research and learning health system workforce, including novel socio-technical infrastructures that promote a learning health system
  • Studies that develop or apply novel scientific methods in the context of implementation, quality improvement or program and policy evaluation initiatives, including new technologies and tools to assess implementation, sustainment, lived experiences, and patient and community outcomes
  • Application or adaptation of QUERI initiatives in non-VA settings

Abstracts may not exceed 300 words and must be formatted as indicated in Section of the HSR Author Instructions (keywords not necessary).

Abstracts will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review panel. Evaluation criteria include: (1) quality, rigor, and originality; (2) relevance to the special issue theme; and (3) clarity of writing and presentation. Authors of abstracts that most closely match the criteria will be invited to submit full manuscripts.

Invited manuscripts must follow the Author Instructions and undergo the same HSR peer review process as regular manuscripts. However, due to the strict timeline for publishing the special issue, the process may be shorter. Authors must be prompt in returning revisions.

Invited articles that are accepted will be posted online after proofing. Some accepted articles might not be selected for the special issue but will be published in a regular issue. The special issue will be open access, with open access charges funded by the sponsor. The expected publication date for the special issue is December 2024.

To submit an abstract for consideration, please email it with the corresponding author’s contact information to hsr@aha.org. Include “25th Anniversary of the VA QUERI Program” in the email subject line.

Key dates for authors
Submission deadline for abstracts: 7 August 2023
Authors notified about manuscript invitation: 7 September 2023
Submission deadline for invited manuscripts: 1 November 2023
Special issue publication date: December 2024

Questions? Please email Kelly Teagle at hsr@aha.org.

Hidden information below


Email Address*