HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. III. Types of Information Disseminated by the Agency to the Public


Data products  — Includes print and electronic materials that describe or present aggregate statistical information such as data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a survey of households regarding how they use and pay for health care. MEPS Public Use Data Files (on the Web site and CD-ROM) allow access to aggregate data. Another example is the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a family of health care databases and related tools with data provided by state data organizations, state hospital associations, and other sources. Web-based interactive analytic tools (i.e., MEPSnet, HCUPnet) are also available.

Results of research projects  — Research reports and other information products such as fact sheets, research syntheses, and AHRQ's monthly newsletter Research Activities are produced in both print and electronic formats and describe the findings and methods of AHRQ-funded research projects.

Program evaluation reports  — Reports summarizing the results of program evaluations are included in the departmental catalog of program evaluations maintained by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Many of the Agency's program evaluations are driven by the goals established under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).

Software tools  — Tools developed to assist health care policy makers, health system leaders, purchasers, and others in carrying out their tasks and making health care choices. An example is the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC), which provides standardized information on evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

Consumer and professional health information  — AHRQ produces a wide range of print and electronic consumer and professional information. Examples include consumer publications on: various health conditions/diseases, on how to select a health plan, personal health guides, and how to improve the quality of health care you receive as a patient. Examples of publications for professionals include The Physicians Handbook of Preventive Services and evidence reports on a wide array of clinical topics that can be used by public and private entities to develop and implement their own practice guidelines, performance measures, review criteria, and other clinical quality improvement tools.