Performance Improvement 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


An Assessment of the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTS) Initiative

This study provided an assessment of the progress CERTs has made in meeting its programmatic objectives. The purpose of this study was to assess the capability of the current CERTs programmatic structure to adequately address all of the objectives stipulated in the authorizing legislation.

Recommendations include the following: (1) CERTs need an effective mechanism to develop communication channels with state and local public health agencies; (2) long term communication strategy should include identification of key target audiences and the most effective means to reach those audiences; (3) additional professional editorial resources should be provided through the Coordinating Center; (4) existing public relations resources should be utilized to reach its various publics; and (5) the design and implementation of public affairs campaigns should be assessed.

FEDERAL CONTACT: Lynn Bosco, 301-427-1490 PIC ID: 7686

PERFORMER: Washington Consulting Group, Bethesda, MD


Feasibility Study for Developing a Web-based Redesigned and Enhanced CONQUEST and Integrating it with an Enhanced National Guideline Clearinghouse

This project sought to provide advice and recommendations to AHRQ about the design of a Web-based database of clinical performance measures that could be appropriately and functionally integrated with an enhanced National Guideline Clearinghouse database. CONQUEST, the second of a suite of Web-based quality improvement tools to be developed by AHRQ, is operated as a clearinghouse for clinical performance measurement protocols. The contractor evaluated the features that a clearinghouse for performance measures should embody and explored alternative approaches to CONQUEST’s design and management. The study found that the construction of a compendium of clinical performance measures was feasible and highly valuable. There was strong evidence that quality cannot be improved unless effects and outcomes are measured, and there was also evidence that measurement tends to influence the priorities of health care institutions and individual providers. The study also found that by putting these measures on the Web, AHRQ could very disseminate information about measures and maintain them so that they remain up-to-date in this rapidly changing scientific and clinical environment.

FEDERAL CONTACT: Larry Patton, 301-427-1486 PIC ID: 7010.1

PERFORMER: Lewin Group, San Francisco, CA


Implementation Planning Study for the (1) Integration of Medical Event Reporting Input and, (2) Data Structure for Reporting to Implementation [AHRQ, CDC, CMS, and FDA]

This study analyzed existing US, DHHS data systems, a select number of other systems, and factors affecting the potential integration of systems. Although efforts to measure and reduce the risk of harm to patients are underway, there was no national, centralized system for the collection and analysis of information pertaining to adverse events. Rather, an array of disparate systems collected information about different types of events (e.g., device-related, medication-related), from different sources (e.g., consumers, practitioners, manufacturers). Individually, each of these systems provided value to those who submit information and those who analyzed the collected data. However, linking data or combining databases promises efficiencies for the collection of data and could allow for early identification of systemic safety problems that would otherwise be impossible to detect. Our investigation suggested that there are several possible integration options, and this report details two specific candidates. Both approaches lent themselves to a phased implementation with the chief integration efforts occurring early in Phase 1 and expanding to other domains or user communities. One approach initially addressed the issue of “burden of reporting” for several systems, and it subsequently developed rich analytic facilities. Another approach began by integrating two systems “end-to-end,” including data entry and analysis components. FEDERAL CONTACT: James Battles, 301-427-1332

PIC ID: 7681


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