It's That Time of Year: AHRQ Seeks Topic Suggestions for Future Evidence Reviews
For more than 20 years, AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) have been a well-known and well-used source for systematic evidence reviews that summarize relevant scientific literature on a wide range of clinical issues.
The program's inventory of systematic reviews, technical briefs, and technology assessments assess the evidence on topics ranging from mobile applications for self-management of diabetes to non-pharmacological treatment for pain.
These reports have served as the foundation for coverage decisions, quality measures, patient educational materials, clinical practice guidelines, and research agendas.
So how are topics nominated?
Twice a year, AHRQ posts a request for nominations. Suggestions are considered from anyone. Hospital executives, clinicians, researchers, payers, and patients have all offered suggestions for new evidence reports.
Nominations must be submitted by September 21 for the next round of research projects in fiscal year 2019. Preferred nominations will be those with high potential to impact clinical practice and health outcomes.
All suggestions are carefully evaluated according to several criteria, including clinical importance; potential impact; feasibility for evidence synthesis; value; and potential duplication with similar efforts. If a nominator grants permission, AHRQ may follow up with clarifying questions about the proposed project’s scope and research questions posed.
So what happens when a topic is selected?
Chosen topics are assigned to one of AHRQ's EPCs according to their expertise. Research teams use a rigorous and comprehensive methodology for all reviews. For systematic reviews, EPCs critically appraise existing research and synthesize knowledge on a particular topic.
Once a topic is selected, AHRQ may work with the nominator and others to ensure the evidence report produces information that can be used in practice. AHRQ also may ask nominators to help solicit public comments as the research team develops a review scope and a draft report.
This collaborative process—with nominating organizations and other stakeholders—is essential to ensure that the report is useful to external partners. It represents a prime example of AHRQ and its partner organizations bringing together the evidence, values, and resources needed for evidence-based decisionmaking.
We look forward to hearing your ideas for new topics in fiscal year 2019. Don’t forget the September 21 deadline for nominations!
Dr. Chang is Director of AHRQ's Evidence-Based Practice Center Program.
Page originally created September 2018