Highlights of AHRQ’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Dissemination Investments

Evidence Synthesis

AHRQ is a recognized leader in systematically reviewing medical research and creating comprehensive research syntheses. The Agency has put its experience to work conducting more than 27  systematic evidence reviews of PCOR findings since 2010, including reviews on oral medications for treating type II diabetes, therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder, and the treatment of depression after traumatic brain injury. Learn more about AHRQ’s systematic review program.

Translation and Communication

Investments in this area seek to make evidence accessible and understandable to health care professionals, health care decisionmakers, and patients and their families. Investments include:

  • Library of PCOR Resources: As charged by Congress, AHRQ developed a series of resources to allow researchers, clinicians, and members of the public to discover how to learn more about the ever-expanding world of PCOR, including information on ongoing studies and publications of PCOR findings.
  • Guidelines and Measures (GAM), was set up by AHRQ to provide users a place to find information about its legacy guidelines and measures clearinghouses, National Guideline ClearinghouseTM (NGC) and National Quality Measures ClearinghouseTM (NQMC). This information was previously available on guideline.gov and qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov, respectively.


Examples of AHRQ’s work to help health care professionals and health systems apply the latest PCOR evidence include:

  • EvidenceNOW: This grant initiative is dedicated to helping over 1500 small- and medium-sized primary care practices across the country use the latest evidence to improve the heart health of millions of Americans. This initiative aligns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts®, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. 
  • The Comparative Health System Performance in Accelerating PCOR Dissemination and Implementation: For this project, AHRQ has funded three Centers of Excellence to Study High-Performing Health Care Systems that will identify, classify, track, and compare health care delivery systems, such as  Accountable Care Organizations, diverse Integrated Care Models, interconnected health information technology networks, and medical homes over the next 5 years. The goal is to understand the organizational and environmental factors affecting the rapid adoption and diffusion of PCOR-recommended practices throughout a system.
  • PCOR disparities grants: Under Funding Opportunity Announcement RFA-HS-13-101, AHRQ funded Dr. Marshall Chin at the University of Chicago to  use evidence to reduce disparities for the LGBT community
  • Clinical Decision Support Initiative: AHRQ recently launched a new initiative to disseminate and implement PCOR findings through clinical decision support (CDS). This initiative will focus on creating a PCOR CDS Learning Network to drive the field of CDS forward, conducting CDS projects, extending existing CDS, or developing new CDS based on PCOR findings.
  • Dissemination & Implementation Initiative:  Through this initiative, AHRQ is accelerating the dissemination and implementation of PCOR evidence about medical treatments and the delivery of care to health care providers, patients, professional organizations, Federal and private health insurance plans, and others. The Agency is currently soliciting PCOR findings that have been shown to improve outcomes. It will invest in implementation of findings with high-quality evidence and feasible approaches to implementation.
    • Cardiac Rehabilitation – Implementing PCOR: This new 3-year initiative will disseminate and implement best practices for increasing cardiac rehabilitation among eligible patients. AHRQ will partner with and train hospitals and health systems to increase cardiac rehabilitation referrals, enrollment, and retention.

AHRQ is currently developing a strategy for evaluating the impact of its investments in PCOR dissemination, including monitoring the Nation’s ability to use the latest evidence in clinical practice.

Page last reviewed March 2019
Page originally created September 2016
Internet Citation: Highlights of AHRQ’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Dissemination Investments. Content last reviewed March 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/pcor/dissemination-of-pcor/ahrq-pcor-dissemination-investments.html
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