Skip Navigation
AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care
Back to Issue Cover

EHC Program Mission

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program develops and synthesizes clinical evidence for comparing current medical interventions. The resulting reports are intended to assist patients, healthcare providers, and policymakers in making informed decisions. The program’s major products include:

  • Comparative Effectiveness Reviews are comprehensive reports that compare health care treatments, including pharmaceuticals, devices, and other types of interventions. The reviews cover evidence about effectiveness and harms and point out gaps in research. They are developed by AHRQ-funded Evidence-based Practice Centers.
  • New Research Reports are derived from accelerated practical studies about the outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, safety, and appropriateness of health care items and services. They are prepared by health research organizations with access to health information databases and the capacity to conduct rapid turnaround research. The research is conducted by centers known as Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness (DEcIDE) Centers.
  • Summary Guides are plain-language publications produced by the John M. Eisenberg Center, which synthesizes comprehensive reports into practical tools to help people use evidence in their decision making.
  • Technical Briefs provide an overview of key issues related to an emerging clinical intervention. Technical Briefs focus on interventions for which there are limited published data and too few completed, protocol-driven studies to support definitive conclusions. The emphasis of the Technical Briefs is on providing an early objective description of the state of science on the topic. The Technical Briefs are prepared by Evidence-based Practice Centers.

To maintain transparency and to ensure research is being conducted on issues of importance to the public, the EHC Program seeks your input at several points throughout the research process. Please visit the Web site ( to see draft research questions, reports, and guides.