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Division of Applied Research at Allina Health

  • The Division of Applied Research, within the Allina Health Office of Clinical Excellence, is dedicated to advancing practice-based research and service innovation to patients, families, providers and communities.

    Our purpose is to design, evaluate and disseminate innovative strategies to improve health care delivery and enhance population health. We partner with internal and external collaborators to support the long-term sustainability of practice-based research. 

  • Health care delivery research and innovation


    To understand the effectiveness of our current health care delivery approaches and test new ways to improve clinical quality, patient experience and decrease cost, we've outlined goals in these areas:

    • Primary care: Understand team-based care, health care worker wellbeing and dementia screening and pathways.
    • Emergency services and critical care: Reconsider and reconfigure care from the ambulance to the emergency department to the bedside in the intensive care unit.
    • Late life care: Improve the quality and coordination of care for patients and their families facing advanced chronic illness and end of live experiences.
    • Health care informatics: Understand the impact of innovations within our electronic health record and use our data to predict and model future events for patients.
    • Dissemination and translation: Deploy innovations across our system and other health care providers.
    • Other clinical areas: Increase shared decision-making across clinical service lines and understanding healthcare delivery changes in other clinical settings.


    Our health care delivery research and innovation goals encompass includes these and other projects.

    LifeCourse participant

    Robina LifeCourseTM

    LifeCourse supports study participants by exploring and providing resources to help those with serious illness to live as they wish. The LifeCourse team walks beside individuals and families during their journey, working together with the entire health care team.

    Robina Care Guide patient with provider

    Robina Care Guide Project

    With the support of a grant from the Robina Foundation, Allina Health piloted a new approach to primary care: Using care guides to help patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure manage their health.

    Trio with 'don't fear the rear' t-shirts promoting colorectal cancer screening

    Colorectal Cancer Screening With Improved Shared Decision Making (CRCS-WISDM)

    This partnership between Allina Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the communities of Hastings and Buffalo, began in December 2012 and ended in December 2014. It improved colorectal cancer screening rates by:

    • integrating a shared decision making process into the local Allina Health primary care clinics
    • engaging community members and organizations in an awareness campaign

    For more about the project and colorectal cancer screening, visit

  • Population health research and innovation


    As we engage in novel approaches to improve the health of our communities through system-community partnerships and embed a public health approach within a provider organization, we focus on these goals:

    • Health care equity: Identify challenges, enhancing strategy, and partnering internally and externally to improve health care equity for our patients and families.
    • Community health: Measurably improve the health of our communities through novel partnerships and comprehensive public health strategies.


    Our population health research and innovation goals involve projects like this: 

    The Backyard Initiative logo thumbnail

    Backyard Initiative

    Our goal is to improve the health and health care of people who live near Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health Commons and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis. Despite having world-class medical care "right in their backyard," many experience poor health and cannot afford health care.

  • Contact us

    If you are interested in participating in a research study or would like collaborate with us, email