by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 27, 2018
The University of Washington School of Medicine is prepping to launch the world’s first academic department for the study of health metrics, expecting it to officially open on July 1, 2018.
The Department of Health Metrics Sciences will focus on applying high-quality information to measure population health, its determinants and the performance of health systems.
"There are many rapid changes in health care and health care-related research that can improve care and outcomes for individual patients, improve the health of the population and control/reduce costs," Paul G. Ramsey, CEO, UW Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, told HCB News. "To achieve these objectives, it is imperative to have accurate measures on a regular basis of the health of populations. In addition, we must have scientifically sound projections of changes in health (due to specific interventions) and projections of the impact of changes on the cost of health care. The new department will be a global leader in the these vital activities."
The department will measure factors that affect health throughout the United States and worldwide, carrying out research in various fields, including epidemiology, demography, statistics, computer science and economics.
It is expected to collaborate with UW’s School of Medicine, School of Public Health and other health science schools, as well as related disciplines based in other universities and colleges.
It also will work closely with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, based in UW Medicine, and will provide support for the university's Population Health Initiative, which promotes human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity on the local, national and global levels.
"The Department of Health Metrics Sciences will advance the Population Health Initiative by enhancing collaboration with multiple departments within the UW, as well as other universities globally, along with local and national governments and international organizations," Dr. Ali Mokdad, co-chair of the initiative, said in a statement. "The School of Medicine is the ideal place from which to conduct this work."
IHME faculty will be based in the Department of Health Metrics Sciences.