Health Care Research

Health Care Research

Health care can be defined as the act of diagnosing, treatment as well as the diagnosis of an illness, injury or a disease (Peloso, 2002). This also includes other mental and physical impairments in the human species. Health care cannot be practiced by just anyone, as it requires skills that can only be acquired through proper education in the profession. Therefore, our society has practitioners who can deliver this health care in different medical disciplines. These practitioners are in disciplines like; dentistry, allied health, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, optometry, midwifery-obstetrics and in other care providing experts. Therefore, health care primarily refers to work done in providing primary care, secondary care, public health and any form of tertiary care (Wexler, 2013). It is also essential important to note that health care access varies in the world, mostly across, individuals, countries or groups. This is more so bearing in mind that health care access is significantly influenced by economic the socio-economic conditions together with the health policies implemented within a locality. Therefore, in defining health care research, one can say that it is the act of investigating the access, the quality of the care given and the cost of health care. The definition of health care has evolved a lot over the last couple of years, but three aspects of care still stand out: access, quality and the cost of the care offered. The main purpose of any health care research is to find out the best means of financing, managing, organizing and delivering high quality patients care (Pope & Mays, 2000). This is more so focusing on reducing medical errors, so as to improve patients’ safety. Therefore, one can say that health care research mainly focuses on access to health care and its delivery. This is contrary to medical research which mainly focuses on evaluation as well as the development of clinical treatments.

Health care research may produce different possible outcomes to the industry as well as to the person doing the research. Since a researcher has to go the grass-root levels to do the research, and make sure that his/her results would not be biased, he/she may encounter some scenarios that may even be of shock. As a matter of fact, it is known that in most rural areas, it is hard to offer the best health care services. Therefore, researchers may find themselves in situations where people have little to no access to health care (Kronendeld, 2013). Others have even found themselves in locations where there is not enough personnel to offer the health care services needed by the people. There have been reports of researchers who end up expanding their research period so that they volunteer to help some extremely needy people in various locations in the world. Therefore, such a researcher will feel obliged to assist where they can and also try to get the authorities in that region involved and offer their people more assistance. On the health care industry, health care research helps in finding out whether its main purpose has been achieved, and also on what could be done in achieving the same. That is; finding out whether people have enough access to health care, whether it is properly managed, financed and also on the quality of the services offered (Munro, 2005). After a successful research on health care, the industry can try figuring out of making sure that patients get access to enough care, and at the right quantities.

Looking at possible implications of health care on consumers, provider, and even the policy makers and health managers, research may implicate different results depending on the finding. If the research showed that there was efficient and effective care to patients in a locality, then the most significant implication would be that the patients care is well organized, managed, well financed and of the right quality (Kronenfeld, 2013). This implication would be to all parties involved. However, if the research showed that there was not enough health care, there would be different implications on the matter, more so concerning the manner in which it was being managed, organized financed as well as on the quality. Consumers would be demanding enough health care and at the right quantities. Providers would feel obliged to offer more and better health care. Policymakers in health care would feel obliged to make better policies of ensuring that patients got the right care and at the right quantities. Health care managers would also be obliged to install proper management policies, so that they can be able to make use of the available resources as well as the personnel.

There are numerous research methods that can be used in health care. They may be in form of surveys, experimental methods, triangulated methods as well as qualitative ones (Munro, 2005). Survey methods mostly come into play when there may be a descriptive topic to be investigated. For instance, someone may want to know the health status of a given population. In such a scenario, the best method in this research would be carrying out a survey into the matter. This survey would assist a researcher in answering a statement that or a question that may have been posed to investigate the same. There are also scenarios that may need initial investigations especially in topics where little to no information is known about them. In such a situation, a qualitative method that may need a lot of observation and interviews becomes the best option. For instance, if someone was investigating how doctors and other medical practitioners prioritize their patients’ caseloads, then a qualitative method becomes the best option. There are also experimental methods in health care research. There are mostly used when a researcher seeks to investigate an issue with cause-and-effect characteristics. For instance, a person may be conducting a research on a question that asks whether men have better health outcomes when compared to women at a certain age. The only way a researcher would be able to answer such a question without being biased would be to carry out an experimental research into the matter.

Researchers from different fields can also use different methods to carryout research into the same matter. This can be referred to as triangulated researches. A researcher may also decide to incorporate all of the above research methods to investigate one matter, as long as they are complementing each other (Plichta et al, 2012). This is where case reports, case studies, correlation studies, case-control studies, experimental studies, cohort studies and qualitative studies come in. This is because they all inform results of different researches from randomized and controlled traits (Munro, 2005). Therefore, they enhance qualitative health care researches through understanding enhancements into relevant social processes, as well as into other social contexts. This may include researches from students, health psychologists, medical sociologists, historians, health policy analysts and professionals from different health care fields.

In analyzing primary, secondary and tertiary studies, primary studies are significantly close to the origin or an event of a particular topic. It is just like primary sources of information; like an eye witness to an accident. The purpose and design of primary studies is to give first hand information, and they may include; questionnaires, interviews, transcripts and other original material (Wexler, 2013). Secondary studies are at least one step further from the primary source of information. Their purposes and design include; analysis, interpretation or even make synthetically analytic claims. Tertiary studies are the publications that bring together primary and secondary sources (Peloso, 2002). The encyclopedia is a good example of a source of tertiary studies. Their main purpose and design is to sum up both the secondary and primary studies n providing information.

In health care, primary studies can be used to give first hand information, more so on the quality of the services offered to patients. This could be through interviews, questionnaires and other information gathering methods. Secondary studies can be used by a researcher to compile a report from the patients who receive health care services. This researcher could put together all the information filled in questionnaires, or even in the interviews regarding health care quality, quantity and the cost (Kronenfeld, 2013). Tertiary studies could be used as a source of reference after the above researcher publishes a report in form of a book, or any other material covering their point of view, as well as the interviews and the questionnaires filed by the interviewees.

All of these methods can be used to improve health care in a couple of ways. For instance, primary studies from questionnaires and interviews can be used to find out what the patients at the grassroots levels really want, or how they feel about care offered to them (Plichta et al, 2012). This information could be of use to health care managers to know whether their desires are achievable or not. This information could also be used to train patients on how to work with their practitioners so as to improve the quality on the services accorded the. Secondary studies can be used by clinicians, healthcare managers, policy makers and other concerned health care professionals to try and improve the quality of services offered to the patients. It could also be used to determine the quantity, the quality as well as the cost need needed to offer patients good health care (Munro, 2005). Tertiary studies can be used to project or determine the success of any initiative that may have been committed to helping patients (Pope & Mays, 2000). It could also be used to help policy maker, health care managers as well as other practitioners develop better means of providing care to the patients.






Kronenfeld, J. J. (2013). Social determinants, health disparities and linkages to health and health care. Bingley: Emerald.

Munro, B. H. (2005). Statistical methods for health care research. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Peloso, J. (2002). Health care. New York: H.W. Wilson.

Plichta, S. B., Kelvin, E. A., & Munro, B. H. (2012). Munro’s statistical methods for health care research. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Pope, C., & Mays, N. (2000). Qualitative research in health care. London: BMJ Books.

Wexler, B. (2013). The health care system. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning.