Despite the recent advances made in the care of children with sickle cell disease (SCD), premature mortality, especially among older children and young adults, remains a hallmark of this disease. The lack of survival gains highlights the translational gap of implementing innovations found efficacious in the controlled trial setting into routine clinical practice. Health services research (HSR) examines the most effective ways to finance, organize, and deliver high quality care in an equitable manner. To date, HSR has been underutilized as a means to improve the outcomes for children with SCD. Emerging national priorities in health care delivery, new sources of funding, and evolving electronic data collection systems for patients with SCD have provided a unique opportunity to overcome the translational gap in pediatric SCD. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive HSR agenda to create patient-specific evidence of clinical effectiveness for interventions used in the routine care setting, understand the barriers faced by clinicians to providing high quality care, assess and improve the interactions of patients with the health care system, and measure the quality of care delivered to increase survival for all children and young adults with SCD.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.