united states agency for healthcare research and quality


Summary: An agency of the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE established in 1990 to "provide indexing, abstracting, translating, publishing, and other services leading to a more effective and timely dissemination of information on research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care to public and private entities and individuals engaged in the improvement of health care delivery..." It supersedes the National Center for Health Services Research. The United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research was renamed Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999.

Top Publications

  1. Guadagnoli E, Epstein A, Zaslavsky A, Shaul J, Veroff D, Fowler F, et al. Providing consumers with information about the quality of health plans: the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans demonstration in Washington State. Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2000;26:410-20 pubmed
    ..Choosing a new plan probably stimulated more intense scrutiny of the report than not anticipating switching. ..
  2. Zhan C, Kelley E, Yang H, Keyes M, Battles J, Borotkanics R, et al. Assessing patient safety in the United States: challenges and opportunities. Med Care. 2005;43:I42-7 pubmed
    ..Ongoing developments on multiple fronts will provide data and measures for more accurate and more comprehensive assessments of patient safety for future NHQRs. ..
  3. Houchens R, Elixhauser A, Romano P. How often are potential patient safety events present on admission?. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2008;34:154-63 pubmed
    ..Three of 13 PSIs appear not to be valid measures of in-hospital patient safety events, but the remaining 10 appear to be potentially useful measures even in the absence of POA codes. ..
  4. Glance L, Osler T, Mukamel D, Dick A. Impact of the present-on-admission indicator on hospital quality measurement: experience with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Inpatient Quality Indicators. Med Care. 2008;46:112-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings emphasize the need to improve the "quality" of administrative data by including a POA indicator if these data are to serve as the information infrastructure for quality reporting. ..
  5. Rosen A, Rivard P, Zhao S, Loveland S, Tsilimingras D, Christiansen C, et al. Evaluating the patient safety indicators: how well do they perform on Veterans Health Administration data?. Med Care. 2005;43:873-84 pubmed
    ..Our PSI rates were consistent with the national incidence of low rates; however, differences between VA and non-VA rates suggest that inadequate case-mix adjustment may be contributing to these findings. ..
  6. Brennan T, Gawande A, Thomas E, Studdert D. Accidental deaths, saved lives, and improved quality. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:1405-9 pubmed
  7. Farquhar M, Sharp B, Clancy C. Patient safety in nursing practice. AORN J. 2007;86:455-7 pubmed
  8. Clancy C, Slutsky J, Patton L. Evidence-based health care 2004: AHRQ moves research to translation and implementation. Health Serv Res. 2004;39:xv-xxiii pubmed
  9. Tieman J. A standard approach. AHRQ readies tool to gauge patient satisfaction. Mod Healthc. 2004;34:8-9 pubmed

More Information


  1. Clark A. Improving the delivery of care for diabetes patients with a collaborative model. Home Healthc Nurse. 2005;23:177-82 pubmed
    ..Early evaluation results suggest the collaborative was an effective mechanism for achieving rapid quality improvements in the home care setting. ..
  2. Chesley F, Clancy C. Research funding opportunities: fiscal year 2006. Health Serv Res. 2005;40:xi-xiv pubmed
  3. Robeznieks A. Creative license. As AHRQ struggles with flat funding levels, the agency has been forced to use novel approaches with its research grants. Mod Healthc. 2007;37:28-30 pubmed
  4. Orsted H, Attrell E. Making clinical practice guidelines work: the experience of one home healthcare agency. Ostomy Wound Manage. 1999;45:48-54, 56; quiz 58-9 pubmed
    ..This article will explore the development and/or adoption and clinical application of guidelines into practice. ..
  5. Cady R. "Becoming a high reliability organization-operational advice for hospital leaders" report. JONAS Healthc Law Ethics Regul. 2008;10:33 pubmed publisher
  6. . A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. A U.S. Public Health Service report. Am J Prev Med. 2008;35:158-76 pubmed publisher
    ..Brief clinical approaches for patients willing and unwilling to quit are described. ..
  7. Fleurence R, Selby J, Odom Walker K, HUNT G, Meltzer D, Slutsky J, et al. How the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is engaging patients and others in shaping its research agenda. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013;32:393-400 pubmed publisher
    ..Faced with the reality that PCORI will not be able to fund all research questions posed to it, there will also be difficult decisions to make when selecting those that have the highest priority for funding. ..
  8. Moy E, Freeman W. Federal investments to eliminate racial/ethnic health-care disparities. Public Health Rep. 2014;129 Suppl 2:62-70 pubmed
    ..Federal policy makers should continue interest in workforce diversity to optimize the health of all Americans. ..
  9. Meyer G, Battles J, Hart J, Tang N. The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's activities in patient safety research. Int J Qual Health Care. 2003;15 Suppl 1:i25-30 pubmed
    ..It is now incumbent upon the international health care quality improvement community to translate the future results of this research investment into improved safety for patients. ..
  10. Robinson K, McNamara R, Bass E, Powe N. Evidence-based practice centers: production of evidence report on management of atrial fibrillation. AACN Clin Issues. 2001;12:618-27 pubmed
    ..Each step is defined and illustrated with examples from the development of an evidence report on atrial fibrillation. ..
  11. Manos D. Government should be more involved in health care quality, experts say. Rep Med Guidel Outcomes Res. 2004;15:9-10, 12 pubmed
  12. Kirkland V, Palmer M, Fitzgerald S. Incontinence in a manufacturing setting: women's perceptions and responses. Public Health Nurs. 2001;18:312-7 pubmed
    ..Only 2 of the women out of 78 had heard of the AHCPR Guideline but the majority of women wanted more information about UI (85%). Mechanisms are suggested for querying women with UI and disseminating the AHCPR Guideline. ..
  13. Teleki S, Damberg C, Sorbero M, Shaw R, Bradley L, Quigley D, et al. Training a patient safety work force: the patient safety improvement corps. Health Serv Res. 2009;44:701-16 pubmed
    ..The PSIC contributed to building a national infrastructure supporting effective patient safety practices. Expanded training is needed to reach a larger fraction of the population for which this training is important. ..
  14. Fraser I, Lanier D, Hellinger F, Eisenberg J. Putting practice into research. Health Serv Res. 2002;37:xiii-xxvi pubmed
  15. Gaskin D, Spencer C, Richard P, Anderson G, Powe N, LaVeist T. Do hospitals provide lower-quality care to minorities than to whites?. Health Aff (Millwood). 2008;27:518-27 pubmed publisher
    ..Only a few hospitals provide lower quality of care to minorities than to whites. ..
  16. Myers S, Lynn J. Patients with eventually fatal chronic illness: their importance within a national research agenda on improving patient safety and reducing medical errors. J Palliat Med. 2001;4:325-32 pubmed
    ..The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the lead federal agency for researching patient safety and medical errors, released between November 2000 and April 2001 six Requests for Applications for research into medical errors. ..
  17. Becker E. National trends and determinants of hospitalization costs and lengths-of-stay for uterine fibroids procedures. J Health Care Finance. 2007;33:1-16 pubmed
    ..Hospital costs for treating women with uterine fibroids are continuing to grow. Further research on the determinants of the resource utilization could be helpful in predicting and alleviating these costs and improving patient care. ..
  18. Zrelak P, Sadeghi B, Utter G, Baron R, Tancredi D, Geppert J, et al. Positive predictive value of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Indicator for central line-related bloodstream infection ("selected infections due to medical care"). J Healthc Qual. 2011;33:29-36 pubmed publisher
    ..PSI 7 has a low positive predictive value compared with other PSIs recently studied. Present on admission diagnoses and improved coding for infections related to central venous catheters (implemented October 2007) may improve validity. ..
  19. Brady J, Ho K, Clancy C. Slowed progress in improving quality and minimizing disparities. AORN J. 2008;87:1007-9 pubmed publisher
  20. Fu R, Gartlehner G, Grant M, Shamliyan T, Sedrakyan A, Wilt T, et al. Conducting quantitative synthesis when comparing medical interventions: AHRQ and the Effective Health Care Program. J Clin Epidemiol. 2011;64:1187-97 pubmed publisher
    ..We will cover more issues in future versions and update and improve recommendations with the accumulation of new research to advance the goal for transparency and consistency. ..
  21. Davies S, McDonald K, Schmidt E, Schultz E, Geppert J, Romano P. Expanding the uses of AHRQ's prevention quality indicators: validity from the clinician perspective. Med Care. 2011;49:679-85 pubmed publisher
    ..Clinicians supported some expanded uses of the PQIs, but generally expressed reservations. Attention to denominator definitions and risk adjustment are essential for expanded use. ..
  22. Smith E, Zhao S, Rosen A. Using the patient safety indicators to detect potential safety events among US veterans with psychotic disorders: clinical and research implications. Int J Qual Health Care. 2012;24:321-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Acute care inpatient veterans with psychotic disorders experienced higher rates of several PSIs, but lower rates of others. Whether lower rates of certain PSIs reflect better or worse care for this population is uncertain. ..
  23. Tzong K, Han S, Roh A, Ing C. Epidemiology of pediatric surgical admissions in US children: data from the HCUP kids inpatient database. J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2012;24:391-5 pubmed publisher
    ..When examined together with data on ambulatory surgery, these results are useful in considering the scope of anesthesia exposure in young children. ..
  24. Kerr E, McGlynn E, Van Vorst K, Wickstrom S. Measuring antidepressant prescribing practice in a health care system using administrative data: implications for quality measurement and improvement. Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2000;26:203-16 pubmed
  25. LeRoy L, Bayliss E, Domino M, Miller B, Rust G, Gerteis J, et al. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Network: overview of research contributions and future priorities. Med Care. 2014;52 Suppl 3:S15-22 pubmed publisher
  26. Watson N, Brink C, Zimmer J, Mayer R. Use of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Urinary Incontinence Guideline in nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003;51:1779-86 pubmed
    ..On average, only 20% of the standards applicable were met, due primarily to lack of awareness of new UI and lack of familiarity with the guideline. Thus, improvements are needed. Recommendations for guideline revision are made. ..
  27. Southwick L. Communication misadventures and medical errors. Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2002;28:461-2; author reply 462-3 pubmed
  28. Rollins G. Behavior management improves urinary incontinence in older women living at home. Rep Med Guidel Outcomes Res. 2002;13:7-9 pubmed
  29. Romano M. Honest assessment. Reports give nation's healthcare system mixed reviews. Mod Healthc. 2005;35:8-9 pubmed
  30. Kelley E, McNeill D, Moy E, Stryer D, Burgdorf J, Clancy C. Balancing the nation's health care scorecard: the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2005;31:622-30 pubmed
    ..Much work remains to be done if these reports are to be used to their fullest potential as balanced scorecards for the United States. ..
  31. McGlynn E. An evidence-based national quality measurement and reporting system. Med Care. 2003;41:I8-15 pubmed
    ..The gains from a greater focus on evidence are expected to be found in accelerating QI. Reliance on evidence-based approaches should not be used to stifle innovation. ..
  32. Duffy M. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: a valuable resource for evidence-based practice. Clin Nurse Spec. 2005;19:117-20 pubmed
  33. Allareddy V, Lin C, Shah A, Lee M, Nalliah R, Elangovan S, et al. Outcomes in patients hospitalized for periapical abscess in the United States: an analysis involving the use of a nationwide inpatient sample. J Am Dent Assoc. 2010;141:1107-16 pubmed
    ..Severe infections resulting from periapical abscesses may warrant hospitalization. The authors conducted a study to investigate the factors affecting outcomes for patients hospitalized for periapical abscess in the United States in 2007...
  34. Patel K, Moorthy D, Chan J, Concannon T, Ratichek S, Chung M, et al. High priority future research needs for obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013;9:395-402 pubmed publisher
  35. Munro M, Dickersin K, Clark M, Langenberg P, Scherer R, Frick K. The Surgical Treatments Outcomes Project for Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding: summary of an Agency for Health Research and Quality-sponsored randomized trial of endometrial ablation versus hysterectomy for women with heavy menstrual bleeding. Menopause. 2011;18:445-52 pubmed publisher
    ..8 quality-adjusted life years. Future studies will examine and compare the impact of the study interventions on economic outcomes. ..
  36. Duffy M. Translation research: its relationship to evidence-based practice. Clin Nurse Spec. 2005;19:60-2 pubmed
  37. Conn J. Bad report card. Adverse safety cases on the rise in hospitals, study says. Mod Healthc. 2005;35:4 pubmed
  38. Rollins G. Institute of Medicine committee identifies 20 key areas to transform the U.S. health care system. Rep Med Guidel Outcomes Res. 2003;14:9-10, 12 pubmed
  39. Gibbons M, Casale C. Reducing disparities in health care quality: the role of health IT in underresourced settings. Med Care Res Rev. 2010;67:155S-162S pubmed publisher
    ..This article outlines the process, findings, and key recommendations of this expert workshop. ..
  40. Vartak S, Ward M, Vaughn T. Do postoperative complications vary by hospital teaching status?. Med Care. 2008;46:25-32 pubmed
    ..Teaching status of the hospital was associated with numerous hospital and patient characteristics which mediate the relationship between teaching status and PSIs. ..
  41. Falck Ytter Y, Schunemann H, Guyatt G. AHRQ series commentary 1: rating the evidence in comparative effectiveness reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2010;63:474-5 pubmed publisher
  42. Henderson K, Recktenwald A, Reichley R, Bailey T, Waterman B, Diekemper R, et al. Clinical validation of the AHRQ postoperative venous thromboembolism patient safety indicator. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2009;35:370-6 pubmed
    ..The VTE PSI performed well as a screening tool but generated a significant number of false-positive cases, a problem that could be substantially reduced with improved coding methods. ..
  43. Heinemann A, Roth E, Rychlik K, Pe K, King C, Clumpner J. The impact of stroke practice guidelines on knowledge and practice patterns of acute care health professionals. J Eval Clin Pract. 2003;9:203-12 pubmed
  44. Chou R, Aronson N, Atkins D, Ismaila A, Santaguida P, Smith D, et al. AHRQ series paper 4: assessing harms when comparing medical interventions: AHRQ and the effective health-care program. J Clin Epidemiol. 2010;63:502-12 pubmed publisher
  45. Matzo M. Agents for preventing fractures in osteoporosis. Am J Nurs. 2008;108:73 pubmed publisher
  46. Clancy C. Emergency departments in crisis: opportunities for research. Health Serv Res. 2007;42:xiii-xx pubmed
  47. Edwards J, Feldman P, Sangl J, Polakoff D, Stern G, Casey D. Sustainability of partnership projects: a conceptual framework and checklist. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2007;33:37-47 pubmed
    ..It is too early to claim sustainability for these project. However, continued monitoring for at least three years with the checklist could result in valuable national data with which to design and implement future projects. ..
  48. Sloane T. A train that hasn't left the station. Studies give lie to notion that healthcare is well on the way toward higher quality. Mod Healthc. 2007;37:22 pubmed
  49. Okoli C, Greaves L, Bottorff J, Marcellus L. Health care providers' engagement in smoking cessation with pregnant smokers. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2010;39:64-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Factors such as the gender of the provider, geographical location, and the use of women-centered treatment approaches could be further examined in relation to provision of SC by HCPs among pregnant smokers. ..
  50. Farley D, Damberg C. Evaluation of the AHRQ patient safety initiative: synthesis of findings. Health Serv Res. 2009;44:756-76 pubmed
    ..Progress was slower in establishing a national monitoring capability and dissemination of safe practices for adoption. AHRQ needs to expand efforts to apply new knowledge for stimulating use of safe practices in the field. ..
  51. Kanter J. On outcomes, the time has come. National database is needed to ensure the right care is given for each condition. Mod Healthc. 2003;33:22 pubmed
  52. Phillips S. Setting research priorities for disaster preparedness: the role of AHRQ. Manag Care. 2003;12:16-8 pubmed
  53. Schulberg H, Katon W, Simon G, Rush A. Treating major depression in primary care practice: an update of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Practice Guidelines. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55:1121-7 pubmed
    ..Future research should focus on how guidelines are best implemented in routine practice, since conventional dissemination strategies have little impact. ..