About Questions Are the Answer
Asking questions—and making sure you understand the answers—has always been at the heart of AHRQ’s “Questions Are the Answer” public education initiative. Launched in 2007 through a series of public service ads with the Ad Council, the Questions Are the Answer message highlights the vital role patients and families can play as part of their own healthcare teams.
The initiative was developed based on findings from dozens of patient safety research projects conducted by AHRQ in the early 2000s following the national attention that resulted from the groundbreaking 1999 report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Research by Lucian Leape, M.D., a renowned patient safety expert and AHRQ grantee, was featured prominently.
For the Questions Are the Answer public education campaign, research from a wide variety of AHRQ patient safety projects was synthesized into materials featuring AHRQ’s trusted evidence about diagnostic testing and results, medication safety, safe transitions between care settings, and the importance of patient and family engagement in healthcare.
In 2019, AHRQ developed its QuestionBuilder app by fusing the latest mobile technology with longstanding research to put questions to ask at patient’s fingertips. In 2020, AHRQ partnered with Google to share its trusted evidence more broadly as part of a Google medical visit planning tool.
The Questions Are the Answer initiative has been featured in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal. For the first time in its history, the Ad Council in 2011 also secured print ads in medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA.