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
- Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care
- Assessing the Patient Experience
- Assessing Care Coordination
- Practice-based Research
- AHRQ Data Sources and Survey
Evaluating Primary Care Transformation
- The PCMH Resources for Researchers features briefs, white papers, and other information that can be used to improve evaluations of the medical home.
- The PCMH Research Methods Series Expanding the Toolbox: Methods to Study and Refine Patient-Centered Medical Home Models (PDF, 813 KB) is a series of briefs introducing methods or approaches that have the potential to expand and refine understanding of the PCMH as a complex health care intervention and innovation. The series includes briefs on a wide range of topics including mixed methods, anthropological approaches, cognitive task analysis, and much more.
- Using Implementation Research to Guide Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination of Patient-Centered Medical Home Models (PDF, 1.6 MB) is a brief focusing on using implementation research methods in studies of patient-centered medical home (PCMH) models.
- A Guide to Real-World Evaluations of Primary Care Interventions: Some Practical Advice (PDF, 363 KB) presents practical steps for designing an evaluation of a primary care intervention. It answers the questions: Do I need an evaluation? What do I need for an evaluation? How do I plan an evaluation? How do I conduct an evaluation and what questions will it answer? How can I use the findings? What resources are available to help me?
- Estimating the Costs of Transforming Primary Care: A Practice Guide and Synthesis Report lists the key steps in an analysis of the costs of a primary care transformation effort, reviews the range of methodological options, and describes key considerations for each method. References and appendixes provide additional detail for readers who wish to learn more about each method. The Guide was developed based on the experiences and lessons learned from 15 AHRQ grants.
- The Medical Home Index-Revised Short Form (MHI-RSF)—Pediatric is a subset of the Medical Home Index, a validated self-assessment and classification tool designed to translate the broad indicators defining the medical home into observable, tangible behaviors and processes of care within any office setting.
- 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.
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 (PDF, 289 KB) aims to support the field of integrated behavioral health care measurement by:
- presenting a framework for understanding measurement of integrated care,
- providing a list of existing measures relevant to integrated behavioral health care, and
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.