Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates

Health Systems Research

The VA Health Systems Research (HSR) is an integral part of VA’s quest for innovative solutions to today’s healthcare challenges. HSR supports research that encompasses all aspects of VA healthcare, focusing on patient care, cost, and quality. The main mission of HSR research is to identify, evaluate, and rapidly implement evidence-based strategies that improve the quality and safety of care delivered to Veterans.

Approximately 1,000 funded investigators conduct collaborative, cross-cutting research, with studies addressing critical issues for both Veterans and the VA healthcare system. Investigations look at an array of topics, including suicide prevention, opioid management, mental health, complex chronic diseases, health informatics, and implementation science, among others. All HSR research proposals are merit-reviewed and subject to strict standards regarding scientific merit and relevance to Veterans’ healthcare needs.

HSR is part of ISRM, the organizational unit for review and management of funded medical research in VA Office of Research and Development. ISRM is in the process of transitioning from services to broad portfolios, which will improve how ORD's Priority Research Areas proactively interact with relevant clinical and operational partners, bringing them closer together with researchers to better meet Veterans' needs.

The main HSR website can be found at


HSR operates under a research model that emphasizes close partnership with clinical and policy stakeholders within VA, in addition to a focus on translating research findings into broader implementation in a learning healthcare system. HSR supports a nationwide network of Centers of Innovation (COINS) that include one or more focused areas of research and address questions of significance to the clinical and operational partners who are directly engaged in the research activities of each Center. The COIN program rewards research innovations and partnerships to ensure that research has the greatest possible impact on VA policies, healthcare practices, and health outcomes for Veterans.

In 2012, HSR launched the Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence  (CREATE) initiative, which encourages collaboration between researchers and clinical and operational partners to maximize the utility and impact of research results.

HSR also supports:

  • Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI)
    HSR oversees and facilitates VA's QUERI program, which leverages scientifically-supported quality improvement methods, paired with a deep understanding of Veterans’ preferences and needs, to implement evidence-based practices rapidly into routine care and improve the quality and safety of care delivered to Veterans. QUERI’s national network of programs and partnered evaluation initiatives includes more than 200 clinicians and experts in health services research who collaborate with VA leaders, administrators, and frontline providers to ensure VA’s transformation to a learning healthcare system.
  • Resource Centers
    HSR provides core funding to Resource Centers that support HSR management and the individual COINs, QUERI, and CREATE programs.
    • Health Economics Resource Center. Documents and evaluates VA economic data bases; creates new VA economics data, and assists VA researchers with a health economics consulting service.
    • VA Information Resource Center. Advances VA capacity to use data effectively for research and quality improvement—and to foster communication between research data users and the VA healthcare community.
    • Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources. Disseminates research findings via publications, social media, online education (i.e., webinars), and events facilitation (i.e., national meetings); also maintains and updates various ORD and HSR websites.

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.