AHRQ Views

Blog posts from AHRQ leaders

Gopal Khanna. M.B.A.I’m very excited about AcademyHealth's 36th Annual Research Meeting, which begins this weekend. This will be my third opportunity to participate as AHRQ’s Director, and I’m especially excited given that 2019 is the 20th anniversary of AHRQ existing as the Agency we know today.

For the past 20 years, AHRQ has been a leader in bringing innovation to the delivery of healthcare. The AHRQ-funded Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), for example, has helped prevent deadly central line-associated blood stream infections in more than 1,100 intensive care units. The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes initiative (Project ECHO) has helped primary care practices nationwide use tele-consultation to treat rural and underserved patients in their communities. And the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit has trained staff at scores of hospitals to improve patient discharges and reduce readmissions.   

It is critical that AHRQ continue to support improving healthcare delivery and the services that patients receive. If we don’t, advances in medicine, public health, and drug development will not reach the American people.

At AHRQ, we understand that cure and care are two sides of the same coin. While science and research are essential to discovering new ways to combat illness and disease, it is also imperative that data-driven innovations be applied to ensure implementation of those advancements for the best possible care.

That’s why AHRQ’s accomplishments are a gateway to the future of healthcare delivery. They provide the foundation for serving the American people going forward and improving the lives of patients and the care they receive.

As I’ve described in earlier blog posts and presentations, the need to improve patient care is enormous:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 Americans are living with multiple chronic conditions, including 80 percent of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Approximately 12 million Americans suffer diagnostic errors each year, and more than 4 million people experience severe consequences as a result of diagnostic delays and errors. 
  • In addition, healthcare providers and policymakers lack timely, reliable data and analytics to make the most informed decisions possible.

AHRQ is leading the way in addressing these issues and others by leveraging our core competencies in health systems research; developing effective strategies for practice improvement; and supporting greater use of data and analytics to improve healthcare decision making.

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By expanding these capabilities, we can create evidenced-based, practical tools and solutions that help doctors, nurses, health systems, and policymakers deliver safer, more effective, and higher value health care that advances our abiding mission to improve the lives of patients.

I’m pleased to not only attend but to participate in this year’s AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. On Monday, June 3, I’ll join AHRQ Chief Physician David Meyers, Kaiser Permanente’s Beth McGlynn, America’s Essential Hospitals’ Bruce Siegel, and University Hospitals Health System’s Peter Pronovost in a session titled “Increasing Impact: A Vision for AHRQ’s Future.” I hope you’ll be able to join us.

I also encourage you attend the numerous presentations by AHRQ grantees and staff experts, including the Sunday, June 2, session titled “Alma Ata 40th Anniversary: Where Are We with Primary Care?” led by Arlene Bierman, Director of AHRQ’s Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement. And, as always, please come learn more about AHRQ’s work at our exhibit booth (#406)!

Today’s healthcare landscape is changing like never before. The continuing trend in mergers and acquisitions, new technologies, and shifting demographics, along with an explosion in the availability of data, have set in motion a healthcare ecosystem in constant flux.

Yes, these trends present significant challenges. But they also represent even greater opportunities! I look forward to discussing not only how AHRQ can increase its impact in the future, but how all of us working together can best serve patients and the American people.

If you are attending AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting, please keep these challenges and opportunities in mind as you attend sessions and talk to your colleagues at events throughout the meeting. These are excellent topics of conversation for a coffee break or at a reception.

Also, I want to assure you that if you are not attending the meeting, you will have other opportunities to participate in this dialogue. This is an ongoing conversation, and we will be reaching out to different groups of users and to researchers. If you have thoughts, please send them to me at director@ahrq.hhs.gov.

I look forward to seeing you at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting!

Gopal Khanna is Director of AHRQ.


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Page last reviewed June 2019
Page originally created May 2019
Internet Citation: Joining AcademyHealth in Advancing Better Healthcare for All Americans. Content last reviewed June 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/news/blog/ahrqviews/joining-academy-health-advancing-better-healthcare.html
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