How Are Research Topics Chosen?
All suggestions for research are carefully considered. However, the EHC Program uses a set of factors to select topics for product development.
The list below provides detail regarding the selection criteria for research topics suggested to the Program:
- Represents a health-care drug, intervention, device, or technology available (or soon to be available) in the United States. Interventions include drugs, devices, medical tests, and mechanisms of health care delivery.
- Represents a significant disease burden; affects a large proportion of the population.
- Was nominated/strongly supported by one or more stakeholder groups.
- Represents important uncertainty for decisionmakers.
- Incorporates issues surrounding both clinical benefits and potential clinical harms.
- Represents important variation in clinical care or controversy in what constitutes appropriate clinical care.
- Represents high costs due to common use, high unit costs, or high associated costs to consumers, patients, health-care systems, or payers.
- Potential for redundancy (i.e., whether a proposed topic is already covered by an available or soon-to-be available high-quality systematic review by AHRQ or others).
Effectively utilizes existing research and knowledge by considering:
- Adequacy (type and volume) of research for conducting a systematic review.
- Newly available evidence (particularly for updates or new technologies).
- Potential for significant health impact:
- To improve health outcomes.
- To reduce significant variation in clinical practices known to be related to quality of care.
- To reduce unnecessary burden on those with health-care problems.
- Potential for significant economic impact:
- To reduce unnecessary or excessive costs.
- Potential for change:
- The proposed topic exists within a clinical, consumer, or policymaking context that is amenable to evidence-based change.
- A product from the EHC Program could be an appropriate vehicle.
- Potential risk from inaction:
- Unintended harms from lack of prioritization of a nominated topic.
- Addresses inequities, vulnerable populations (including issues for particular subgroups of people).
- Addresses a topic that has clear implications for resolving important dilemmas in health and health care decisions made by one or more stakeholder groups.