Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks III

Fact Sheet

ACTION III is a contract mechanism the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) uses to support field-based delivery system research. Through ACTION III task orders, AHRQ supports and studies the development and testing of interventions designed to improve care delivery, and the dissemination and implementation of successful care delivery models in diverse care settings.

What Is ACTION III?

ACTION III is a contract mechanism the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) uses to support field-based delivery system research. Through ACTION III task orders, AHRQ supports and studies the development and testing of interventions designed to improve care delivery, and the dissemination and implementation of successful care delivery models in diverse care settings.

ACTION III research is conducted by 13 large partnerships that were competitively awarded the opportunity to further compete for individual task order contracts. Together the 13 ACTION III partnerships are composed of more than 300 member organizations that combine:

  • Nationally recognized research and clinical expertise.
  • Broad experience with quality improvement and implementation of evidence.
  • Informed and engaged stakeholders.
  • Access to sites in which to implement new delivery models; and
  • Highly motivated health professionals ever seeking new ways to provide the highest quality care to the patients they serve.

Collectively, the partnerships, which span all States, provide access and care to an estimated 50 percent of the U.S. population.

Each ACTION III partnership is led by a prime organization. The 13 ACTION prime organizations are:

  1. Abt Associates.
  2. American Institutes for Research.
  3. Billings Clinic.
  4. Health Research and Educational Trust.
  5. Intermountain Healthcare Services.
  6. Johns Hopkins University.
  7. John Snow, Inc.
  8. The Lewin Group.
  9. Medstar.
  10. National Opinion Research Centers.
  11. RTI International.
  12. University of Colorado, Denver; and
  13. Westat.

For a complete list of all the member organizations associated with each partnership, go to ACTION III Partnership Profiles.

How Does ACTION III Support AHRQ's Mission?

AHRQ's mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

Five common types of task orders are conducted under ACTION III task orders that support one or both elements of this important mission:

  • Exploratory Research Projects,designed to generate real-world informed knowledge or evidence.
  • Research and Development (R&D) Projects, designed to develop and test interventions or products to improve quality, safety, affordability, or accessibility of care.
  • Implementation Research Projects, designed to expand knowledge about how and why interventions do or do not work in diverse real world settings, as well as methods for successfully supporting uptake of evidence-based findings in routine practice.
  • Dissemination and Implementation (D &I) Projects, designed to support broad-based (often national) uptake of a proven intervention; and
  • Evaluation Projects to examine and assess outcomes of projects, programs, or interventions.

A particular objective of most ACTION III task orders is to increase understanding not only of whether a particular care delivery intervention, model, or approach "works," but also how and why it does or does not work in a particular setting. ACTION III research is thus intended to be:

  • Field Based,to explore a broad mix of practical, applied topics that are responsive to diverse user needs and operational interests. By testing innovations directly in the settings in which they are intended to be used, ACTION III increases the likelihood of their eventual successful uptake.
  • Implementation Oriented, to examine the process of implementing innovations and the contextual factors influencing implementation success or failure.
  • Potentially Worthy of Scale Up and Broad Uptake and, in an effort to be applicable across multiple settings, designed around user needs and operational requirements and constraints.

ACTION III project summaries are available for task orders awarded in 2015 (PDF, 456 KB) and 2016 (PDF, 208 KB).

For specific information about past ACTION II task orders, go to:

What Resources and Capacities Do ACTION III Partnerships Bring?

Each of the 13 ACTION III partnerships is composed of diverse member organizations involved in health care delivery, including many or all of the following:

  • Inpatient, ambulatory, and long-term care health care providers.
  • Integrated delivery systems and health plans.
  • Health services research organizations.
  • Consumer, patient safety, and other advocacy groups.
  • Professional associations and trade organizations.
  • Quality improvement organizations.

Each partnership brings large, robust health care databases, recognized clinical and research expertise, and the authority to implement health care innovations within diverse care settings.

How Can You Help Shape the Delivery System Research Agenda?

ACTION III task orders are developed by AHRQ program staff under guidance from senior leadership. Task orders grow out of staff consideration of a broad range of factors, including but not limited to congressional directives; needs emerging from the broader policy and regulatory environments; findings and gaps reported in past and ongoing AHRQ research or in the peer-reviewed literature; and input from a wide variety of external sources.

If you have suggestions for real-world, delivery system research projects that might be appropriate for ACTION III, AHRQ would like to hear from you. To request a template to submit your ideas, contact:

Dina Moss, M.P.Aff.
ACTION III Lead
Center for Delivery, Organizations, and Markets
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Page last reviewed September 2017
Page originally created May 2015
Internet Citation: Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks III. Content last reviewed September 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/translating/action3/index.html