The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)'s programs offer practical information to help a variety of health care organizations, providers, and others make care safer in all health care settings.
The Quality Indicators are measures of health care quality that use readily available hospital inpatient administrative data. AHRQ develops Quality Indicators to provide health care decision makers with tools to assess their data.
In 2016, AHRQ launched a program of grants and contracts aimed at helping health care providers move patient-centered outcomes research evidence into practice through clinical decision support (CDS). AHRQ advances the science of CDS by supporting implementers, clinicians, and technology vendors in developing CDS tools that are shareable, standards-based, publicly-available, and patient-centered.
AHRQ created the Comparative Health System Performance Initiative to study how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices in delivering care. AHRQ’s goal is to understand the factors that affect health systems’ use of patient-centered outcomes research and to identify best practices in disseminating and using patient-centered outcomes research.
The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program is a patient safety model that includes training tools to make care safer by improving the foundation for how physicians, nurses, and other clinical team members work together. It builds the capacity to address safety issues by combining clinical best practices and the science of safety.
AHRQ is the lead Federal agency investing in research to improve diagnostic safety. AHRQ invests in research to discover findings that advance the knowledge of diagnostic safety and to develop practical tools and resources to improve diagnostic safety.
The Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program sponsors the development of evidence reviews to assist public- and private-sector organizations in their efforts to improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. These reviews examine the benefits and harms of medications, devices, and other healthcare services, and support the Effective Health Care Program, Technology Assessment Program, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The EPCs are located at universities, medical centers, and research institutions in the United States. The EPC Division at AHRQ sets the strategy and priorities for the EPC Program, and manages program operations, contracts, grants, and training.
The EvidenceNOW Initiative includes a series of projects that all use the EvidenceNOW model of external support to help primary care practices implement evidence into practice. This support includes practice facilitation, expert consultation, and other services to improve quality of primary care. Current projects include support of primary care practices to advance heart health, manage unhealthy alcohol use, manage urinary incontinence in women, and build state capacity to advance equity in heart health.
AHRQ’s HAI program funds work to help frontline clinicians and other health care staff prevent HAIs by improving how care is actually delivered to patients. This work is accomplished through a robust portfolio of grants and contracts that focus on applied research. This kind of research brings knowledge to the front lines of care faster by helping clinicians and staff better understand how to apply proven methods of making care safer.
MEPS is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers across the United States. MEPS is the most complete source of data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage.
NCEPCR communicates the evidence from AHRQ's research—and how this evidence can be used to improve health and primary health care—to researchers, primary care professionals, health care decisionmakers, and patients and families.