Research & Results: What We’ve Learned

Evaluation Overview

The goal of EvidenceNOW is to assist primary care practices in exceeding the Million Hearts® target of 70 percent for delivery of each of the ABCS services to improve heart health—Aspirin use, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. In order to determine if the initiative improved the delivery of evidence-based heart health care in primary care practices, the rate of delivery of each of the ABCS of heart health will be measured at the more than 1,500 primary care practices participating in EvidenceNOW.

The second goal of EvidenceNOW is to improve primary care practices' capacity for implementing evidence and improving quality of care. EvidenceNOW will use two separate measures of practice capacity to understand if this goal was achieved.

Findings from EvidenceNOW will be relevant for health care researchers and providers across the United States who are interested in primary care practice improvement, accelerating the dissemination and implementation of evidence into practice, and cardiovascular health.


To stay up-to-date with what we’re learning, visit the EvidenceNOW Results, publications and presentations pages.

Research Design & Methods

Researchers and evaluators can learn more about how EvidenceNOW is measuring success at the local and national levels by accessing the EvidenceNOW Research Design & Methods pages.

What Approach Is EvidenceNOW Using to Measure Success?

EvidenceNOW is measuring success at two levels, the local cooperative level and nationally across all seven cooperatives.

At the local cooperative level, each EvidenceNOW cooperative will evaluate their own heart health interventions within their own regional contexts.

At the national level, an independent evaluation, called ESCALATES (Evaluating System Change to Advance Learning and Take Evidence to Scale), is looking across the EvidenceNOW cooperatives to determine the overall effectiveness of the initiative. It will also examine and compare the effectiveness of the cooperatives’ interventions to determine which types of external support are most effective in improving the implementation of new medical evidence, under what circumstances, and for whom. To accomplish this, the national evaluation team and the cooperatives worked together to identify a common set of measures to create a harmonized dataset.

How Will EvidenceNOW Cooperatives Evaluate What Works Locally?

ABCS stands for asprin, blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking.Each EvidenceNOW cooperative will conduct a rigorous local evaluation examining four factors:

  • How practices improve in the delivery of the ABCS of heart health during and after the intervention.
  • Whether practices expand their capacity for quality improvement and implementation of new evidence into practice as a result of the intervention.
  • How their planned intervention was actually delivered using the methods of implementation science.
  • What were the practice and local environment like during the intervention period and how did this context influence the success and challenges of the intervention.

Learn more about the EvidenceNOW evaluation measures.

What Will the National Evaluation Examine?

The national evaluation will study the impact of support services provided by the EvidenceNOW cooperatives on practice improvement and the delivery of heart health care across the initiative’s seven regions.

The national evaluation team will collect and analyze practice-level data from each of the cooperatives on the harmonized measures—ABCS, practice capacity, and practice structure—to look across EvidenceNOW cooperatives and determine which interventions are most effective for whom and in what contexts.

The national evaluation will also examine:

  • How each cooperative implements its quality improvement support services.
  • How regional context and interactions with other organizations (e.g., EHR vendors, local Regional Extension Centers, and Quality Improvement Organizations) play a role in this work.
  • How external support is organized to help practices change and improve.

Findings from this study will be relevant for health care researchers and providers across the United States who are interested in practice improvement, accelerating dissemination and implementation of evidence into practice, and cardiovascular health.

Learn more about the national evaluation of EvidenceNOW.

Page last reviewed March 2019
Page originally created October 2016
Internet Citation: Research & Results: What We’ve Learned. Content last reviewed March 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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