AHRQ Views: Blog posts from AHRQ leaders
Seeking Diverse Expertise to Strengthen AHRQ’s Foundation of Peer Review
The numbers speak clearly to AHRQ’s longstanding research mission. Since 2015, the Agency has awarded more than 2,300 grants to health services researchers dedicated to improving the delivery of healthcare in America. Total investment: more than $828 million.
These AHRQ-funded research teams have provided healthcare professionals, health system leaders, policymakers, and others with evidence and insights about who is using healthcare, how much it costs, where quality and safety problems persist, how to improve the delivery of healthcare services, and how improvements can be made.
Their research would not have been funded, however, without the contributions from another set of teams: members of AHRQ study sections, whose fair and rigorous peer review helps AHRQ decide which research proposals merit Agency investment.
As we begin to plan for fiscal year 2022, I encourage everyone with a commitment to improving healthcare quality, safety, equity, and value to consider volunteering to serve on one of the five study sections that evaluate research proposals in Agency priority areas:
- Healthcare Systems & Value Research: considers proposals aimed at increasing healthcare access while improving affordability, efficiency, and cost transparency.
- Healthcare Safety & Quality Improvement Research: reviews applications designed to identify risks that lead to medical errors and solutions to prevent patient injury.
- Healthcare Information Technology (IT) Research: reviews applications relating to health IT implementation, challenges to adoption and use, and testing of health IT tools and methods.
- Healthcare Effectiveness and Outcomes Research: considers applications aimed at improving healthcare quality by accelerating implementation of patient-centered outcomes research and studying the organization and functioning of healthcare delivery and access.
- Healthcare Research Training: reviews applications to support health services research training and career development at the dissertation, junior faculty, and senior faculty level.
The study section rosters average 25 members. Each study section meets three times a year. Currently the sections are meeting virtually.
AHRQ strives to assemble study sections that reflect diversity and balance – in scientific disciplines and healthcare specialty areas; with experience with research methods, with clinical care delivery, and with health systems operations; between established faculty and innovating junior faculty; in gender, race, and ethnicity; and in geography, including representation from rural areas.
We believe diverse and inclusive study sections lead to diverse and equitable research findings. This helps AHRQ meet its mission to advance healthcare quality and safety for all while reducing disparities in quality, safety, access, and ultimately, health outcomes.
AHRQ’s research study sections are foundations to our commitment to ensure that research investments are timely, well-conceived, and aptly targeted at national priorities – and reflect the diversity of interests and needs of clinicians, policymakers, and health system leaders. We hope you’ll help us keep advancing the field by volunteering to serve and encouraging others to join you.
David Meyers is Acting Director of AHRQ. Francis Chesley is Director of AHRQ’s Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations.