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.
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.
Evidence-based research provides the basis for sound clinical practice guidelines and recommendations. The recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are especially useful.
The Effective Health Care Program is powered by the Evidence-based Practice Centers Program, and improves the quality of healthcare by synthesizing and disseminating the best available evidence on the benefits and harms of drugs, devices, and healthcare services. This work helps healthcare professionals, patients, policymakers, healthcare systems, researchers and research funders make informed decisions about healthcare and research needs.
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 health literacy resources help health care professionals and delivery organizations make information easier to understand and systems easier to navigate.
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.
PBRNs are groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based health care questions and translate research findings into practice. PBRNs engage clinicians in quality improvement activities and an evidence-based culture in primary care practice to improve the health of all Americans.
Shared Decision Making is a collaborative process in which patients and clinicians work together to make healthcare decisions informed by evidence; the care team's knowledge and experience; and the patient's values, goals, preferences, and circumstances.
AHRQ funds and conducts research to improve understanding of the impacts of SDOH, the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and how to mitigate them through the lens of the healthcare system.