Skip to main content

What areas of health services research does the journal consider?

Health services research is a unique and multidisciplinary field of research that examines how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and behaviors impact on access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and population health and wellbeing. 

The journal does not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles, this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field. 

BMC Health Services Research is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of health services research. We particularly welcome submissions covering the following topics: 

Designing and implementing health system reform

This section considers implementation science research examining the methods, trialing, and uptake of research into routine healthcare settings for the benefit of patient health. This section also considers research promoting healthcare reforms and the de-implementation of low-value care. Submissions that include public and patient involvement (PPI) or co-production in the research process are particularly encouraged. 

eHealth, mHealth and informatics

This section considers all aspects of research relating to the design, development, trialing, adoption, and application of information technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mobile health-based innovations in health service management, planning, and delivery of care.

Health policy, politics and power

This section considers all aspects of research concerning the decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals in society. This section also considers studies on pharmaceutical policy, legislation, guidelines, and regulations that impact on health systems, services, and movements towards universal health coverage.

Health system quality and safety

This section considers all aspects of research concerning the review, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and achievement of high-level health system goals based on health system strategies. The section also encourages submissions evidencing improvement and innovation to advance the quality and safety of patient care at the health system and service level. Studies examining the perspectives of health systems, health care providers, service users, and caregivers are also considered. 

*Studies concerning clinical practice, clinical decision-making, and measurement of clinical outcomes should be directed to the relevant BMC Series medical journal

Healthcare delivery and access to healthcare

This section considers all aspects of research relating to the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the healthcare needs of the population. This section particularly encourages submissions reporting advancing universal health coverage and healthcare equity. Geospatial and epidemiological studies related to healthcare delivery and access to healthcare are also considered.

Healthcare financing and economics

This section considers all aspects of research relating to the mobilization, accumulation, and allocation of money to finance the healthcare needs of people, individually and as a population. This section considers studies looking at the various models that exist to finance healthcare, such as private insurance, personal financing, social health insurance, and taxation. This section also considers economic and cost-effectiveness evaluations of health policy, interventions, performance, and services.

*Please note that the journal does not consider research focused on increasing for-profit healthcare revenue; monetizing healthcare or personal health data; or advertising and marketing for-profit healthcare or health/medical products. 

Healthcare governance and management

This section considers all aspects of research that aims to inform best practice and continuous improvement for commissioners, decision-makers, and managers, for the benefit of service users and their carers. This section considers studies concerning risk assessments, upholding healthcare standards, incident management and reporting, and auditing.

The health workforce

This section considers all aspects of health workforce research including planning, resourcing and staffing, assessment of healthcare staff attitudes and behaviors, and occupational health and wellbeing of healthcare staff. Studies considered by this section include demographic and diversity studies, healthcare professional market analyses, methods to improve wellbeing, motivation, and productivity, and health workforce migration studies. 

*For studies concerning the clinical knowledge and practice of healthcare professionals, please consider BMC Family Practice, BMC Medical Education, BMC Nursing, and BMC Pharmacology & Toxicology as possible venues for your research. 

Not sure if your research fits the scope of the journal? 

Why not explore some of our related journals in the BMC Series

Annual Journal Metrics

  • Speed
    96 days to first decision for reviewed manuscripts only
    62 days to first decision for all manuscripts
    217 days from submission to acceptance
    16 days from acceptance to publication

    Citation Impact
    1.987 - 2-year Impact Factor
    2.564- 5-year Impact Factor
    1.230 - Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)
    0.995 - SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

    Usage 
    6,851,288 downloads

    Social Media Impact
    5912 Altmetric mentions

Sign up for article alerts and news from this journal