The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)'s programs offer practical information to help a variety of health care organizations, providers, and others make care safer in all health care settings.
The Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care serves as a national resource and coordinating center for those interested in integrating behavioral health into primary care. Integration in this context refers to primary care and behavioral health clinicians working together with patients and families, using a systematic and evidenced-based approach to provide patient-centered care. This care may address mental health and substance abuse conditions, health behaviors (including their contribution to chronic medical illnesses), life stressors and crises, stress-related physical symptoms, and ineffective patterns of health care utilization.
The Quality Indicators are measures of health care quality that use readily available hospital inpatient administrative data. AHRQ develops Quality Indicators to provide health care decision makers with tools to assess their data.
In 2016, AHRQ launched a program of grants and contracts aimed at helping health care providers move patient-centered outcomes research evidence into practice through clinical decision support (CDS). AHRQ advances the science of CDS by supporting implementers, clinicians, and technology vendors in developing CDS tools that are shareable, standards-based, publicly-available, and patient-centered.
Evidence-based research provides the basis for sound clinical practice guidelines and recommendations. The recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are especially useful.
AHRQ created the Comparative Health System Performance Initiative to study how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices in delivering care. AHRQ’s goal is to understand the factors that affect health systems’ use of patient-centered outcomes research and to identify best practices in disseminating and using patient-centered outcomes research.
The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program is a patient safety model that includes training tools to make care safer by improving the foundation for how physicians, nurses, and other clinical team members work together. It builds the capacity to address safety issues by combining clinical best practices and the science of safety.
Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care. Surveys cover topics important to consumers and focus on those aspects of quality that consumers are best qualified to assess, such as the communication skills of providers and ease of access to health care services.
AHRQ provides free continuing education events in the areas of comparative effectiveness, quality and patient safety, and prevention/care management.
The health care system in the United States has been the subject of much debate as experts try to determine the best way to deliver high-quality care.
AHRQ is the lead Federal agency investing in research to improve diagnostic safety. AHRQ invests in research to discover findings that advance the knowledge of diagnostic safety and to develop practical tools and resources to improve diagnostic safety.