National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research

The National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research (NCEPCR) is the intellectual home for primary care and primary care researchers across AHRQ. It provides opportunities for AHRQ scientists to share concepts, ideas, challenges, and emerging solutions.

NCEPCR communicates the evidence from AHRQ's research—and how this evidence can be used to improve health and primary health care—to researchers, primary care professionals, health care decisionmakers, and patients and families.

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Primary Care Research Initiatives

Grants to Increase Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Abuse in Rural Primary Care Practices

Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices is an AHRQ-funded demonstration research (R18) initiative that will implement medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder in primary care practice in rural areas of the United States.

The grant recipients are:

  1. The American Institutes of Research in partnership with the State of Oklahoma, Project ECHO from New Mexico, and expert consultants from the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
  2. The University of Colorado, Denver. 
  3. The Pennsylvania State Department of Human Services in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the University of Pittsburgh. 

Learn more about Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices

EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care

EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care is an AHRQ initiative to transform health care delivery by building a critical infrastructure to help smaller primary care practices apply the latest medical research and tools to improve the heart health of their patients.

Primary Care Transformation

AHRQ has funded three grant initiatives to identify the difficulties faced by primary care practices as they transform into patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and to help create an infrastructure to assist them.

  1. Transforming Primary Care Practice
  2. Infrastructure for Maintaining Primary Care Transformation (IMPaCT)
  3. Estimating the Costs of Supporting Primary Care Practice Transformation

Learn more about Primary Care Transformation

Practice-Based Research Networks

Improving Primary Care

Our primary care system currently has significant—and perhaps unprecedented—opportunities to emphasize quality improvement (QI) and practice redesign in ways that could fundamentally improve health care in the United States.

Read more about AHRQ Initiatives and Tools in this area.


The Patient-Centered Medical Home Resource Center provides policymakers and researchers with access to evidence-based resources about the medical home and its potential to transform primary care and improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of U.S. health care.
The Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care
A national resource center for people committed to providing comprehensive, integrated health care
TeamSTEPPS® for Office-Based Care Version
The office-based care version of TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) adapts the core concepts of the AHRQ/DoD TeamSTEPPS training and support program to work for office-based teams.


Care Coordination Measures Atlas
Profiles on more than 60 health care coordination measures designed to assess the experiences of patients and families, health care professionals, or system representatives, with a focus on primary care setting.
Atlas of Instruments to Measure Team-based Primary Care
The Atlas is designed for quality improvement (QI) practitioners responsible for primary care team QI initiatives, evaluators of interventions or initiatives to improve primary care teams, and researchers studying team-based primary care.
Clinical-Community Relationships Measures Atlas
A framework for understanding the measurement of clinical-community relationships for researchers, evaluators, and primary care clinicians seeking guidance on using such relationships to provide preventive and other services with the aim of improving individual and population health.
Health Assessments in Primary Care: A How-to Guide for Clinicians and Staff
This guide provides practical evidenced-based primary care teams to successfully adopt health assessments in primary care practices.

The Care Coordination Quality Measure for Primary Care (CCQM-PC) is a survey of adult patients’ experiences with care coordination in primary care settings, which builds on previous AHRQ work to develop a conceptual framework for care coordination and fills a gap in the care coordination measurement field.

Integrating Chronic Care and Business Strategies in the Safety Net: A Practice Coaching Manual
This practice coaching manual can help improve clinical quality in an ambulatory health care setting. The manual accompanies a comprehensive Web-based toolkit, Integrating Chronic Care and Business Strategies in the Safely Net: A Toolkit for Primary Care Practices and Clinics.

Oral, Linguistic, and Culturally Competent Services
These two guides offer approaches to defining cultural needs in managed care and developing appropriate services for them. 

Self-Management Support Resource Library
These resources can help primary care teams learn about self-management support and help them help their patients develop self-management skills.

Page last reviewed July 2016
Internet Citation: National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research. Content last reviewed July 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.