Aetna Informs Members With AHRQ Materials

Prevention and Care Management
March 2007

Aetna, one of the Nation's largest health care benefits companies, uses AHRQ information to help its members become better informed and more involved in their own health care and that of their families. Aetna cites AHRQ resources in its health education materials and via member Email messages. The company also uses online links to AHRQ patient safety and health care quality materials.

According to Charles M. Cutler, MD, MS, Aetna's Chief Medical Director for National Accounts, "We have been offering links to the AHRQ patient resources for the last few years, and are very pleased to be able now to send Email messages highlighting them to our members. The materials are just the kind of basic information that helps members become informed patients and consumers."

In a pilot program, Aetna sent Email notes citing AHRQ materials to a group of members. In addition, Aetna members may learn about AHRQ from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force references found in some Aetna member health information materials. Aetna has adopted Task Force recommendations for preventive service screenings.

"Aetna is committed to helping its members become more informed about their health and health care, and AHRQ materials are a convenient, credible, and effective way to do so," Cutler notes.

Aetna also provides links to many AHRQ consumer publications on its online provider directory, called DocFind. Aetna's purpose is to have such information available at the time members may be searching for a physician and/or hospital. The following AHRQ materials are linked on Aetna's Web site:

  • Five Steps to Safer Health Care.
  • 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors.
  • 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children.
  • Ways You Can Help Your Family Prevent Medical Errors.
  • Quick Tips When Planning Surgery.
  • Quick Tips When Getting a Prescription.
  • Think it Through: A Guide to Managing the Benefit and Risks of Medicines.

"These materials address important issues that consumers/members should be aware of at certain critical points as they use health care services. Some of these critical points include visiting a physician for themselves or a family member, entering a hospital for elective surgery, or taking medication," Cutler says.

He continues, "Aetna is proud to partner with AHRQ, an organization that offers well-researched, evidence-based, rich, and robust resources that can help our members make the best-informed decisions about their health care."

View the AHRQ links by visiting and choosing "find a doctor" on the right side of the home page. Members and nonmembers alike can access the links by choosing the appropriate option on the resulting page. To get to the DocFind page directly, go to

With corporate headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut, Aetna offers a broad range of insurance and employee benefits products to Americans in all 50 states. Aetna has over 15 million members, over 450,000 physicians, and nearly 4,500 hospitals in its network of health care providers.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
Multi-Center-07-02 (CP3, OCKT)
AHRQ Product(s): U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
Topics(s): Patient Safety, Prevention
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: Aetna
Date: 03/01/2007
Page last reviewed October 2014