Editorials

AHRQ's Tools for Better Practice: Helping Family Physicians Manage Today's Challenges

 

Am Fam Physician. 2017 Nov 1;96(9):569-570.

Family physicians are dedicated to delivering care that is safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. However, primary care clinicians face challenges that create barriers to providing high-quality care.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognizes that supporting the nation's primary care health system is foundational to achieving high-quality health care. To that end, the agency invests in innovative primary care research to generate new knowledge, synthesize existing evidence that is applicable to the primary care setting, create tools for improving primary care practice, and generate data and measures to track and improve performance in primary care. Table 1 provides examples of AHRQ tools and resources that are available.

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Table 1.

Examples of AHRQ Tools and Resources for Primary Care Practice

ResourceDescriptionLink

Effective Health Care Program*

Easy-to-read summaries of comparative effectiveness reviews and research reports; selected summaries are published in American Family Physician (http://www.aafp.org/afp/ahrq)

https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov

Decision aids on topics such as lung cancer screening (with low-dose computed tomography), nonsurgical treatment options for female urinary incontinence, and prostate cancer screening

Electronic Preventive Services Selector

Mobile app and online tool that identifies relevant U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations

https://epss.ahrq.gov

Provides tailored guidance based on patient information that is entered into the interface, such as gender and age

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

Aimed at helping primary care health professionals increase patient understanding of health information and support patients of all health literacy levels

https://www.ahrq.gov/literacy

Companion guide and crosswalk that show how implementing health literacy tools can help meet standards for patient-centered medical home certification

National Guideline Clearinghouse†

Searchable database that provides comparative, detailed, objective information on clinical practice guidelines

https://www.ngc.gov

SHARE curriculum

Collection of references, guides, posters, and other resources designed to support implementation of SHARE, a five-step process for shared decision making

http://www.ahrq.gov/shareddecisionmaking


AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; SHARE = seek, help, assess, reach, evaluate.

*—Although the Effective Health Care Program website has many clinical resources, including patient education on selected topics, it will not be creating new patient education content. However, AHRQ will continue to add systematic reviews from its Evidence-Based Practice Centers.

†—The future of the National Guideline Clearinghouse is uncertain, given AHRQ's budget constraints. However, AHRQ is exploring various models of sustainability, including public-private partnerships.

Table 1.

Examples of AHRQ Tools and Resources for Primary Care Practice

ResourceDescriptionLink

Effective Health Care Program*

Easy-to-read summaries of comparative effectiveness reviews and research reports; selected summaries are published in American Family Physician (http://www.aafp.org/afp/ahrq)

https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov

Decision aids on topics such as lung cancer screening (with low-dose computed tomography), nonsurgical treatment options for female urinary incontinence, and p

Address correspondence to Theodore G. Ganiats, MD, at theodore.ganiats@ahrq.hhs.gov. Reprints are not available from the authors.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

 

 

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