Research to Transform Primary Care
Primary Care Research Initiatives
Over the past decade, AHRQ has made major investments to better understand the challenges primary care practices face as they work to provide higher quality care and better health outcomes. These investments also produced evidence about what works best in creating and sustaining infrastructure to assist practices with their quality improvement efforts.
Examples of major primary care research initiatives and activities include:
- Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Primary Care Practices. This cooperative grant is discovering how we can best support delivery of MAT in primary care practices and rural communities through innovative technology, including patient-controlled smartphone apps, and remot training and expert consultation using Project ECHO.
- EvidenceNOW. This large-scale initiative helped over 1,500 small- an medium-sized primary care practices across the country use the latest evidence to enable their patients to achieve the ABCS of heart disease prevention: Aspirin use by high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. The initiative has produced a large number of tools, resources, and findings.
- Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs). PBRNs are groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer practical questions about primary care practice, translate research findings into practice, and engage clinicians in quality improvement to improve the health of the patients they serve.
- Improving Care for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC). AHRQ is working to study and implement new approaches to help primary care teams caring for patients with MCC incorporate patients' life contexts into care plans, so that choices about care meet the needs, preferences, values, and circumstances of the patient.
- Primary Care Workforce. AHRQ is interested in understanding how different configurations of primary care teams affect access to and quality of care. AHRQ has developed optimal workforce configurations to enable primary care practices to provide comprehensive, high-quality, team-based primary care for four defined patient populations. Also, in partnership with the Robert Graham Center, AHRQ helped product The State of Primary Care in the United States: A Chartbook of Facts and Statistics.
- 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 and to help create an infrastructure to assist them.