Tools and Resources for Clinical Practice

These tools and resources were developed with the primary care clinicians and teams in mind and can help facilitate delivery of high-quality care.

Resources and tools in this section fall into nine categories:

Providing Evidence

  • The Electronic Prevention Services Selector (ePSS) is a free app for clinicians to search and browse U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on the Web, on a PDA, or on a mobile device to bring recommendations, clinical considerations, and selected practice tools to the point of care.
  • The Effective Health Care Program translates comparative effectiveness reviews and research reports into short, easy-to-read summaries for clinicians and their patients. The Program most recently produced Lung Cancer Screening Tools for patients and clinicians to facilitate discussions about lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

Utilizing Health IT

Facilitating Shared Decision Making

  • Shared decision making explores and compares the benefits, harms, and risks of each option through meaningful dialogue about what matters most to the patient. The SHARE, A 5-Step Process for Shared Decision Making are a collection of references guides, posters, and other resources, all designed to support implementation of SHARE.

Addressing Health Literacy

Supporting Self-Management

  • Self-Management Support Resource Library was developed to help primary care team members learn about self-management support and develop their self-management support skills in working with chronically ill patients. Videos address the what, why, and how of self-management support to help practices improve this important aspect of comprehensive primary care.

Improving Your Practice

Improving Quality of Care

  • Errors during transitions of care from one ambulatory care facility clinician to another are especially vulnerable to patient safety errors are due, in part, to a lack of effective communication and patient engagement in shared decisionmaking AHRQ’s Toolkit to Engage High-Risk Patients In Safe Transitions Across Ambulatory Settings is designed to help staff actively engage patients and their care partners during transitions.
  • Confidential feedback reporting is widely considered to be a precursor to and a foundation for performance improvement. However, to enable change, the physician responsible for and capable of change must receive, understand, and act on the information. Confidential Physician Feedback Reports: Designing for Optimal Impact on Performance informs developers of feedback reports about evidence-based strategies to consider when developing or refining a feedback reporting system.
  • Will It Work Here? A Decision Maker's Guide to Adopting Innovations can help you determine if an innovation would be a good fit—or an appropriate stretch—for your health care organization by asking a series of questions. It links users to actionable web-based tools and presents case studies that illustrate how other organizations have addressed these questions.
  • Improving Your Laboratory Testing Process is a newly revised AHRQ toolkit that provides a step-by-step guide on how to improve the safety and accuracy of the diagnostic testing process in primary care settings. The guide, an update of a 2013 AHRQ toolkit, can help primary care teams assess how laboratory tests are managed and how the process flows from ordering to follow-up. Approximately 40 percent of medical office visits involve diagnostic testing, with a total of more than 2 billion lab tests performed annually in the United States, predominantly in ambulatory care settings. The majority of errors that occur in the laboratory testing process are related to communication breakdowns.

Using Practice Facilitation

  • How a Practice Facilitator Can Support Your Practice (PDF, 111.5 KB) provides tips and techniques for primary care practices interested in getting started with quality improvement activities and describes the benefits of working with a practice facilitator (quality improvement coach).
Page last reviewed August 2018
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: Tools and Resources for Clinical Practice. Content last reviewed August 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/ncepcr/tools/practice/index.html
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