AHRQ is building a national partnership network dedicated to promoting patient-centered outcomes research in patient and professional communities across the United States. We invite you to partner with us. As a partner, you will learn more about patient-centered outcomes research and have access to free materials, a suggested activities list, and resources to become an active member of this national network.
More information on partnerships is available at the following links:
AHRQ is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. One of 12 agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ supports health services research to improve the quality of health care and promote evidence-based decisionmaking.
The Effective Health Care Program of AHRQ works with researchers, research centers, and academic organizations to produce patient-centered outcomes research and translate findings into useful formats for a variety of audiences, including consumers and clinicians. Authorized by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program was created in 2005.
Patient-centered outcomes research, also known as comparative effectiveness research, provides information that helps clinicians and patients work together to treat an illness or condition. By comparing drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care, patients and their families can make more informed choices.
The research results do not tell clinicians how to practice medicine or which treatment is best, but the results provide evidence-based information on the effectiveness and risks of different treatments while allowing for choices based on an individual’s circumstances. The research also compares the effectiveness and risks of both common and emerging treatments and medical technologies for common chronic conditions.
AHRQ’s patient-centered outcomes research reports and products identify areas of clinical uncertainty. The materials for clinicians and patients efficiently and clearly summarize evidence and help clinicians and patients share decisionmaking.
When it comes to choosing the right medicine or the most appropriate health care treatment, clear, unbiased, and dependable evidence-based information can be difficult to find. Most information on treatments is about a single drug, medical device, or procedure. As a result, patients and clinicians may make choices without having sufficient information on all the options. Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) helps by comparing different health care interventions for common conditions. Researchers rigorously evaluate existing scientific literature and generate new findings through scientific studies of different treatments and tests.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is building a much-needed resource of unbiased, evidence-based comparative clinical information through its Effective Health Care Program. Drawing on the work of researchers across North America, the Effective Health Care Program is helping to address fundamental questions about treatment options for common health conditions such as:
Findings from patient-centered outcomes research can be helpful to everyone participating in health care decisionmaking:
Patients often face complicated decisions, such as which test is best, which medicine will help most with the fewest side effects, or whether surgery is the best option. Every patient is different, and each should make informed choices based on individual needs. By providing Effective Health Care Program products that summarize evidence-based patient-centered outcomes research findings, you can help consumers and patients work with their doctors and other health care providers to make an educated decision among treatment options.
Doctors and other health care professionals use patient-centered outcomes research to keep current on comparisons of medications and treatments. AHRQ describes the strength of evidence behind scientific findings. The products developed by the Effective Health Care Program help distill the information so health professionals and consumers can review treatment options together. When research is not available to answer clinical questions, AHRQ publications highlight research gaps.
Policymakers, business leaders, and others want to make health care policy decisions based on the best information about effectiveness. Patient-centered outcomes research helps decisionmakers plan public health programs and initiate wellness or advocacy programs that provide information about health care options.
The Effective Health Care Program supports the efforts of your organization to improve the quality of health care in your community. We encourage you to inform your members about the importance of understanding treatment options and the benefits of using medical evidence to compare them. By sharing AHRQ’s patient-centered outcomes research products, you can make it easier for patients and doctors to make decisions together. The benefits of partnering with AHRQ include:
By partnering with us, you will become part of a growing partnership network committed to improving the quality of health care by encouraging informed decisionmaking. Join the national partnership network devoted to patient-centered outcomes research.
To learn more, contact EHC_Outreach@ahrq.hhs.gov.
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