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Free Resources on Comparative Effectiveness Research – AHRQ Partnership

The IDPH Division of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention signed on as an official partner for a new AHRQ initiative - “Building a National Partnership Network - Advancing Patient-Centered Outcomes Research.” AHRQ is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency of the U.S. DHHS. AHRQ supports research to improve the quality of healthcare and promote evidence-based decision making. The agency has created a number of free resources for clinicians and patients to help them compare the effectiveness of treatment options for numerous illnesses, many of them chronic in nature, such as hypertension and diabetes. The goal of the AHRQ initiative is to improve the quality of healthcare decision making in the country so treatment decisions are made on the basis of evidence and data.

The new resources available are a product of the “Effective Health Care Program - Helping You Make Better Treatment Choices.” The Effective Health Care Program conducts effectiveness research and shares the finding with the public. Comparative effectiveness research is a tool that allows patients and their clinicians to work together to choose the best treatment for an illness or condition. It provides comparisons of drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. This information helps patients and their families understand the effectiveness and risks of different treatment options while allowing for choices based on the circumstances of the individual patient. The Effective Health Care Program’s resources include: Research Reviews, Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, Technical Briefs, Summary Guides, Original Research Reports, Continuing Education Activities, Training Modules, a Slide Library, Videos and Podcasts.

The Summary Guides are short, plain-language guides-tailored to clinicians, patients, or policymakers-that summarize research reviews’ findings on the effectiveness and risks of different treatment options. Guides for patients are available in both English and Spanish and provide useful background information on health conditions. Clinician and policymaker guides rate the strength of evidence behind a report’s conclusions.

All completed reports and summary guides are available on the Effective Health Care Program website here.

Melissa Ellis serves as the division’s CPOC (central point of contact) for the AHRQ partnership. Free printed copies of the Summary Guides may be ordered by contacting Melissa.

Contact information: Melissa Ellis at (515) 537-6544

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