|Welcome to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) Research Funding Opportunities Web site. AHRQ's mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. AHRQ fulfills its mission through establishing a broad base of scientific research to promote improvements in clinical and health system practices, such as incorporation of health information technology and recommended screening tests in everyday care delivery. The goal of our research is measurable improvements in American health care, gauged in terms of improved quality of life and patient outcomes, lives saved, and value gained for what we spend. Important new initiatives include comparative effectiveness research on which medical treatments work best for a given condition and research on ways to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
AHRQ works to improve the evidence base for health care in such areas as payment reform; patient safety, including reducing HAIs; and comparative effectiveness, so that clinicians and patients have the information they need to make the best treatment choices. Evidence and information developed by AHRQ also helps policymakers make informed policy and decisions about public health.
Recognizing that evidence and information alone are not sufficient to reform health care, AHRQ creates a seamless connection between high-quality, safe health care and the roles that different stakeholders play in the health care system. The Agency does this by developing the tools that bring evidence and information to clinicians to use immediately to improve care. These tools also promote teamwork, which has been shown to be a critical key to high-quality, safe health care.
Our strategic goals are to improve care safety, quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. We accomplish this through organizational excellence, that is, use of efficient and responsive business processes to maximize the Agency's resources and effectiveness of its programs.
Research is only a beginning and not an end in itself. On a daily basis, this means ensuring that providers use evidence-based research to deliver high-quality health care and to work with their patients as partners. Evidence garnered from research helps patients to become better informed health care consumers and to be partners in their own care. Research findings also work at the grassroots level to help local policymakers understand what they can do to improve the quality of health care for their constituents, and to ensure that local public health officials have the latest information to help them coordinate their resources and be well prepared in the event of a public health emergency, such as an influenza pandemic.
Accomplishing these goals requires a strategic approach to assure that research findings are ready to be used, widely available, and actionable. This step is a critical component of AHRQ's vision, which is to foster and support research that helps America's health care system provide access to high-quality, cost-effective services and to be accountable and responsive to consumers and purchasers. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the health status and quality of life for all population groups across the Nation.
Health Care Challenges
America's rapidly evolving health care system poses challenges to all of us: providers, purchasers, policymakers, researchers, and the public. Public attention to such issues as patient safety, quality, and disparities in health care highlights the importance of research that can both identify problems and develop viable solutions. Research can also explore innovative ways to reduce the cost of care, a growing concern of all Americans, and can compare treatments for certain medical conditions to identify which ones are most effective. We welcome your research efforts as we face these challenges by producing, translating, and disseminating research findings geared toward transforming and improving our health care system. I applaud your work and remain confident that the health services research enterprise is exciting, rigorous, and critically important to improving the health and health care of all Americans.
Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Current as of May 2009
Director's Welcome. May 2009. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/dirwelcome.htm