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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care
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Grant Programs Expand Effective Health Care Program

Four new grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will allow the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program to expand its efforts to generate comparative evidence and to develop innovative approaches to translate and disseminate information products. The grant programs are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the total amount of funding for the combined programs is $177.5 million. The grants will be awarded throughout 2010.

Image of doctors reading a text bookThe first two programs, which closed applications in December 2009, are the Innovative Adaptation and Dissemination of AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Research Products, or iADAPT, grants, and the AHRQ Clinical and Health Outcomes in Comparative Effectiveness, or CHOICE, grants.

In the iADAPT grant program, AHRQ will award funds to approximately 20 to 25 researchers to develop innovative ways to adapt and disseminate summary guides for health consumers. Applicants are invited to propose innovative customizations to the content presentation and/or delivery mechanism(s) of one or more Comparative Effectiveness Research Review Products, such as Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, Comparative Effectiveness Review Executive Summaries, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Summary Guides, to increase their use, implementation, and impact among difficult-to-reach populations.

The CHOICE grants will award funds for up to 10 independent research teams to generate new evidence to help inform decisionmaking in priority areas of clinical care. The impact of these studies should have a high likelihood of creating major advancements in clinical care.

Two additional grant programs are accepting applications through January 20, 2010. These are titled the PROSPECT Studies: Building New Clinical Infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

PROSPECT stands for “PRospective Outcome Systems using Patient-specific Electronic data to Compare Tests and therapies.” Proposals sought under this program should develop the infrastructure and improve the methodology for prospective collection of data from electronic databases containing clinical information in order to increase the Nation’s capacity to collect data for comparative effectiveness research, especially for underrepresented populations.

The EDM Forum will convene investigators who are conducting PROSPECT studies and other experts in a series of meetings and workshops to identify the challenges to conducting comparative effectiveness research using electronic data.

All four grant programs promise to extend the EHC Program’s abilities to support evidence-based decisionmaking across a wide array of medical choices and priority conditions. The grants also promise to expand the number of researchers and translation specialists involved in Program activities. The John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science is working to create a searchable database of AHRQ-awarded grants to track the funding and the various projects and products that emerge from the awards.