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.
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.
Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care. Surveys cover topics important to consumers and focus on those aspects of quality that consumers are best qualified to assess, such as the communication skills of providers and ease of access to health care services.
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 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 Health Care Innovations Exchange was designed to speed the implementation of new and better ways of delivering health care. It offers busy health professionals and researchers the opportunity to share, learn about, and ultimately adopt evidence-based innovations and tools suitable for a range of health care settings and populations. Project funding for the Exchange ended in 2016.
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.
AHRQ’s patient safety research formed the foundation of the methods, tools, and resources that many hospitals and other frontline clinicians use to reduce HACs, which are conditions that a patient develops while in the hospital being treated for something else. To reduce HACs and other adverse events in hospitals, frontline clinicians and others use many of the methods, tools, and resources AHRQ developed.
Making Healthcare Safer works to consolidate information for healthcare providers, health system administrators, researchers, and government agencies about practices that can improve patient safety across the healthcare system—from hospitals to primary care practices, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings.