Research Activities, March 2014
From the Director
Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) compares the benefits and risks of various treatment options that clinicians and patients can use to make informed decisions about care. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, AHRQ receives funds to disseminate and help implement PCOR findings.
Dissemination and implementation of PCOR findings is a top priority for AHRQ. By making evidence available on health care treatment options—not only evidence on preventive, diagnostic, and palliative care, but also system-level interventions—PCOR can help clinicians and their patients make informed decisions, with the potential to effect health outcomes, quality of life, and even mortality.
As part of AHRQ's plans, the Agency will be targeting primary care practices as part of our PCOR dissemination and implementation activities. Those activities will build on existing efforts, including distribution of evidence-based tools such as the "Health Assessments in Primary Care: A How-to Guide" discussed in this month's cover story.
In addition, AHRQ is sharpening its focus on improving cardiovascular health through PCOR in alignment with the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Million Hearts initiative. AHRQ has just released two new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) as part of this effort. The first FOA will fund up to 8 grantees that will use evidence-based quality improvement strategies, including practice facilitation, to implement new PCOR evidence into the delivery of care. The second FOA solicits a robust, external evaluation of the initiative to discover if and how practice support can best be used to disseminate and implement PCOR findings in primary care practice. AHRQ expects the grants will be funded in early 2015. More information is on AHRQ's Web site, www.ahrq.gov, under "Funding and Grants."
These efforts exemplify the Agency's commitment to continue collaboration with HHS and other stakeholders to disseminate and implement PCOR evidence—all consistent with the AHRQ's mission to produce evidence to make health care safer, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to make sure the evidence is understood and used.
Richard Kronick, Ph.D.