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Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN)

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Field Partnerships to Conduct and Use Research

Fact Sheet

The Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) is a model of field-based research that links the Nation's top researchers with some of the largest health care systems to conduct research on cutting-edge issues in health care on an accelerated timetable.

Update: The successor to the IDSRN is the ACTION initiative (Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks).

Mission | Characteristics of Partners | Topic Nomination


The Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) is a model of field-based research that links the Nation's top researchers with some of the largest health care systems to conduct research on cutting-edge issues in health care on an accelerated timetable.

Designed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) was developed explicitly to capitalize on the research capacity of, and research opportunities occurring within, integrated delivery systems. The network creates, supports, and disseminates scientific evidence about what works and what does not work in terms of data and measurement systems and organizational "best practices" related to care delivery and research diffusion. It also provides a cadre of delivery-affiliated researchers and sites to test ways to adapt and apply existing knowledge.

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Characteristics of IDSRN Partners

As a group, the IDSRN provides health services in a wide variety of organizational care settings to over 55 million Americans including the privately insured, Medicare (3 million) and Medicaid (2 million) patients, the uninsured (0.6 million), ethnic and racial minorities (5.8 million), and rural (6.3 million) and inner-city residents. (Select for IDSRN Partners and Collaborators.)

Each of the nine IDSRN partners has three unique attributes that make it particularly suited for time-sensitive research projects:

  • Data availability. IDSRN partners collect and maintain administrative, claims, encounter, and other data on large populations that are clinically, demographically, and geographically diverse.
  • Research expertise. IDSRN partners include some of the country's leading health services researchers, with proficiency in quantitative and qualitative methodologies and expertise in emerging delivery system issues.
  • Management authority to implement a health care intervention. IDSRN partners have responsibility for managing delivery systems and are in a position to implement financial and organizational strategies with an evaluation component.

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IDSRN Partners and Their Collaborators

Partner: Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Collaborator: Geisinger Health System

Partner: Center for Health Care Policy and Evaluation, UnitedHealth Group, Minneapolis, MN
Collaborators: Allina Health System, RAND, Health Systems Innovations

Partner: Denver Health, Denver, CO
Collaborators: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Colorado Prevention Program

Partner: Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality (formerly USQA Center for Health Care Research), Atlanta, GA
Collaborator: Aetna

Partner: Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Oakland, CA
Collaborators: Kaiser Permanente—Northwest, Southern California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Health Partners Research Foundation; Henry Ford Health System; Lovelace Health Systems; Fallon Health Care System

Partner: Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation, Marshfield, WI
Collaborators: Project HOPE Center for Health Affairs, CODA, Inc.

Partner: Research Triangle Institute-UNC, Research Triangle, NC
Collaborators: Intermountain Health Care; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; UNC Health Care; CareOregon; Summa Health System; Providence Health System; MayaTech Corp.; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Partner: University of Minnesota, Division of Health Services Research and Policy, Minneapolis, MN
Collaborators: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota; Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement; Medical Group Management Association; Allina Health System; Institute for Research and Education, HealthSystem Minnesota; Delta Rural Health Consulting

Partner: Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY
Collaborators: New York Presbyterian Healthcare System; Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University; North Shore University Hospital; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Health Watch


From 2000 through 2005, AHRQ's commitment has totaled nearly $26 million for 93 IDSRN projects. Select for:

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Topic Nomination Procedure

AHRQ actively seeks input on research topics to be considered in developing future IDSRN projects. Of particular interest are topics that:

  • Fit well with the IDSRN's unique research niche.
  • Have clear and direct relevance to public policy or the management of health care delivery.

For More Information

More information on AHRQ and its programs can be found on the AHRQ Web site (

AHRQ Publication No. 03-P002
Current as of October 2002


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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