American Nurses Association Incorporates AHRQ Information Into Research Toolkit
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has incorporated evidence-based information from AHRQ's Effective Health Care (EHC) Program into a toolkit that members are using in both academic and practice research. The toolkit gives nurses who belong to ANA, the largest nursing association in the country, access to data, tools, and resources such as continuing education credits from the EHC Program.
The toolkit consists of 15 topic areas that provide information to help users translate evidence into practice, so they can provide evidence-based care that promotes quality health outcomes for individuals, families, communities, and health care systems.
The two AHRQ-related topic areas in the toolkit are "Education About Evidence-Based Practice and Research" and "Comparative Effectiveness Research/Patient-Centered Outcomes Research." Users can learn about opportunities from AHRQ for free continuing education credits on comparative effectiveness research. Users can also view research summaries on various health conditions for consumers, clinicians, and policymakers.
ANA created the toolkit primarily to serve the nurse researcher segment of its 110,000-member organization, a key membership market for ANA, and also to be useful to nursing students, according to Katie Brewer, MSN, RN, Senior Policy Analyst for ANA. The organization periodically informs members about AHRQ resources, particularly literature reviews or syntheses, and the toolkit includes AHRQ information because its creator is an experienced nurse researcher who is aware of the "excellent resources" available from AHRQ, says Brewer.
ANA's data indicate that the toolkit's users value the information it contains. As of March 2012, the toolkit's Web page has had more than 16,000 visitors and more than 38,000 unique page views, indicating that each visitor viewed it more than once. The AHRQ portion of the toolkit has had 1,100 visitors. Visitors to the Web page stayed an average of 8 minutes, which Brewer says is "a significant amount of time for a Web page." Data are not available on how many visitors went on to obtain continuing education credits through AHRQ.
While ANA does not have qualitative data on the toolkit's effect on nursing practice or patient outcomes, several members have said they were excited about the content and were using it in both academic and practice research, says Brewer.
The toolkit, available at http://www.nursingworld.org/research-toolkit.aspx, will be maintained as an enduring part of the ANA Web site.