Conclusions

Health reform has provided an historic opportunity to demonstrate the important role HSR can play informing health policy and practice. It is incumbent upon those both inside and outside of government who want the field to succeed to consider ways to strengthen the research infrastructure. Perhaps more than any other infrastructure component, data define the possibilities and the limits of HSR.

The papers included in this special issue and the recommendations derived from the Summit set forth a range of strategies to strengthen the data infrastructure that will be needed to produce HSR in the future These recommendations are relevant to several groups of actors, including government agencies, public and private providers, educational institutions, public and private research funders, and of course health services researchers themselves along with their professional association, AcademyHealth. While each of the three areas of recommendations will require further elaboration, we hope that together they provide a roadmap for discussions among these various sectors on ways to strengthen the data infrastructure needed for HSR.