Health Care Delivery
The EPCs produce science syntheses—evidence reports and technology assessments—that provide to public and private organizations the foundation for developing and implementing their own practice guidelines, performance measures, educational programs, and other strategies to improve the quality of health care and of decisionmaking related to the effectiveness and appropriateness of specific health care technologies and services. The evidence reports and technology assessments may also be used to inform coverage and reimbursement policies.
Reports and assessments may be completed and published 18-20 months after nomination. AHRQ widely disseminates the EPC evidence reports and technology assessments. The EPC evidence reports and technology assessments do not make clinical recommendations or recommendations related to reimbursement and coverage policies.
Professional societies, health systems, employers, insurers, providers, and consumer groups are encouraged to nominate topics and thereby collaborate with AHRQ as it carries out its mission to promote the practice of evidence-based health care.
Nominators of topics selected for development into an EPC evidence report or technology assessment may assume the role of Partners of AHRQ and the EPCs. Partners are specific stakeholders who have defined roles and responsibilities. Specifically, Partners serve as resources to EPCs as they develop the evidence reports and technology assessments related to the nominated topic; commit to timely translation of the EPC reports and assessments into their own quality improvement tools (e.g., clinical practice guidelines, performance measures), educational programs, and reimbursement policies; and promote dissemination of these derivative products to their membership as appropriate. AHRQ also is interested in members' use of these derivative products and the products' impact on enhanced health care. Resource materials for EPC Stakeholders in general can be accessed at The Effective Health Care Program Stakeholder Guide .
The EPCs prepare evidence reports and technology assessments on topics for which there is significant demand for information by health care providers, insurers, purchasers, health-related societies, and patient advocacy organizations. Such topics may include the prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment of particular clinical and behavioral conditions; the use of alternative or complementary therapies; and the appropriate use of commonly provided services, procedures, or technologies. Topics may also include issues related to the organization and financing of health care, such as risk adjustment methodologies, market performance measures, provider payment mechanisms, and insurance purchasing tools, as well as measurement or evaluation of provider integration of new scientific findings regarding health care and health care delivery innovations. Previous evidence reports can be found at . Reports on the comparative effectiveness of therapies, technologies, and services can be found on the Effective Health Care Program Web site.
AHRQ is very interested in receiving topic nominations from professional societies and organizations comprised of members of minority populations, as well as nominations of topics that have significant impact on AHRQ priority populations, which include low-income groups, minority groups, women, children, the elderly, and individuals with special health care needs, such as those with disabilities, those who need chronic care or end-of-life health care, or those who live in inner-city and rural areas.
Nominations of topics for AHRQ evidence reports and technology assessments should focus on specific aspects of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and/or management of a particular condition; an individual procedure, treatment, or technology; or a specific health care organizational or financial strategy. The processes that AHRQ employs to select clinical and behavioral topics as well as organization and financing topics nominated by the EPCs is described below. For each topic, the nominating organization must provide the following information:
Further information on how to suggest a topic for the EPC program can be found at: http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/submit-a-suggestion-for-research/how-to-suggest-a-topic-for-research/.
Factors that will be considered in the selection of topics for AHRQ evidence reports and technology assessments include:
Further information on how topics are selected can be found at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/submit-a-suggestion-for-research/how-are-research-topics-chosen/.
Topics nominations should be submitted via the Effective Health Care Web site at: http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/submit-a-suggestion-for-research/.