Tools and Resources For Research and Evaluation

These tools and resources are useful for researchers, evaluators, and others who are interested in designing and evaluating research in the primary care setting.

Evaluating Primary Care Transformation

Measuring Quality

  • Primary Care Measures: Resources for Research and Evaluation is a collection of searchable databases to explore frameworks for measurement and to identify and compare measures within 4 areas that are critical to primary care improvement: Care Coordination, Clinical-Community Relationships, Team-Based Care, and Integrated Behavioral Health Care.
  • The Care Coordination Measures Database/Atlas provides comprehensive profiles of existing measures of care coordination, organizes those measures along two dimensions (domain and perspective), and presents a framework for understanding care coordination measurement, to which the measures are mapped. This framework incorporates elements from other proposed care coordination frameworks and is designed to support development of the field. Users of the CCMD can compare more than 90 validated care coordination measurement tools to identify and select those that are most appropriate for their research and evaluation needs.
  • National Quality Measures ClearinghouseTM (NQMC) provides detailed information on evidence-based health care quality measures. The NQMC furthers the dissemination, implementation, and use of these measures in order to inform health care decisions.

Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care

  • Integration Playbook is a Web-based, complete, and concise set of instructions on implementing integration of behavioral health and primary care. Information in the Playbook can be applied to any primary care practice context, no matter how large or small the practice. The Playbook offers tips and examples primary care in mind, but can easily translate to medical specialties.
  • Atlas of Integrated Behavioral Health Care Quality Measures aims to support the field of integrated behavioral health care measurement by:

    1. presenting a framework for understanding measurement of integrated care,
    2. providing a list of existing measures relevant to integrated behavioral health care, and
    3. organizing the measures by the framework and by user goals to facilitate selection of measures.
  • Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration presents a set of concepts and definitions for behavioral health and primary care integration.

Assessing the Patient Experience

  • The Clinician Group Survey of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) assesses patient experiences with health care providers and staff in doctors' offices. Survey results can be used to: improve care provided by individual providers, sites of care, medical groups, or provider networks; equip consumers with information they can use to choose physicians and other health care providers, physician practices, or medical groups. The survey includes standardized questionnaires for adults and children. The adult questionnaire can be used in both primary care and specialty care settings; the child questionnaire is designed for primary care settings, but could be adapted for specialty care. Users can also add supplemental items to customize their questionnaires.

Assessing Care Coordination

  • Care Coordination Quality Measure for Primary Care (CCQM-PC) is a survey of adult patient experiences with care coordination in primary care settings. The CCQM-PC builds on previous AHRQ work to develop a conceptual framework for care coordination and fills a gap in the care coordination measurement field. The CCQM-PC is designed to be used in primary care research and evaluation, with potential applications to primary care quality improvement. Guidance regarding the fielding of the survey is provided in addition to the full survey, which is in the public domain and may be used without additional permission.

Using Clinical Guidelines for Research

  • Researchers who need access to a comprehensive collection of the best evidence for clinical practice can look to the National Guidelines ClearinghouseTM (NGC) for objective, detailed information on current clinical practice guidelines.

Practice-based Research

  • Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs) are "laboratories" for conducting primary care research. PBRNs draw on the experience and insight of practicing clinicians to identify and frame research questions whose answers can improve the practice of primary care. By linking these questions with rigorous research methods, the PBRN can produce research findings that are immediately relevant to the clinician and more easily assimilated into everyday practice.  The PBRN Web site has tools for practice-based research and methods for engaging clinicians in research.

AHRQ Data Sources

  • The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers across the United States. MEPS is the most complete source of data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage.
  • AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is the Nation's most comprehensive source of hospital care data, including information on inpatient stays, ambulatory surgery and services visits, and emergency department encounters. HCUP enables researchers, insurers, policymakers, and others to study health care delivery and patient outcomes over time, and at the national, regional, State, and community levels.
Page last reviewed October 2018
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: Tools and Resources For Research and Evaluation. Content last reviewed October 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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