AHRQ Views: Blog posts from AHRQ leaders
EvidenceNOW: Helping Primary Care Offices Keep Their Resolutions To Put Evidence Into Practice
Making New Year's resolutions is a lot easier than keeping them, whether vowing to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend less time online. Ultimately, success is a two-step process—getting solid information about what strategies work best, and embracing support from family or friends who can help turn good intentions into lifestyle changes.
AHRQ has found that something similar happens for doctors and nurses and the teams of other clinicians who work in their offices. Learning about new medical science is relatively simple. Knowing how to put into practice, like new resolutions, can be harder. This is why AHRQ's mission has two parts. AHRQ not only generates new evidence on how to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, affordable, and equitable, the Agency is also committed to partnering with the health care system to ensure that this evidence is understood and used. We develop tools and training to assist health care professionals and organizations in keeping their "resolutions" to use evidence to improve health and health care. This is why AHRQ, which often is known to be the "Evidence Agency", is also the "Implementation Agency."
Last year, AHRQ launched EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, a large initiative whose primary aim is to support primary care practices in using the latest evidence to improve the heart health of the patients they serve. Through seven regional cooperatives, AHRQ will partner with clinicians in more than 1,500 primary care offices caring for approximately 8 million Americans to improve the delivery of the ABCS of cardiovascular disease prevention: Aspirin use by high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. Through EvidenceNOW, primary care practices will receive on-site practice facilitation and coaching, data feedback and benchmarking, electronic health record support, expert consultations, and access to local learning collaboratives, services typically not available to smaller practices because of their size. These supports will help practices meet their New Year's resolutions to deliver the highest quality care.
While the primary goal of EvidenceNOW is to measurably improve the health of Americans through the delivery of evidence-based primary care, a secondary goal is to build a blueprint of how to provide small primary care practices with quality improvement support. To meet both of these aims AHRQ awarded an additional grant to establish an independent national evaluation of the EvidenceNOW initiative, which will study the impact of the cooperatives' support services on practice improvement and the delivery of cardiovascular care.
AHRQ has developed a short video that describes how EvidenceNOW will help small primary care practices apply the latest evidence and quality improvement strategies to reduce the threat of heart disease. To learn more, please visit the AHRQ Web site at: www.ahrq.gov/evidencenow.
May we all find success in 2016 meeting our New Year's resolutions.