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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

The Program takes the following steps to generate, synthesize, and translate evidence:

  1. Suggestions for Research are Submitted. Everyone has an opportunity to submit suggestions for research to the Program. Suggestions are posted online and reviewed and prioritized by the Program’s staff.
  2. Accepted Suggestions Lead to Either Original Research or a Research Review of Prior Research. Accepted suggestions are developed into a topic for a research review (a synthesis of existing evidence) or original research. If existing evidence does not support a research review, the topic is considered for original research.
  3. A Research Abstract or a set of Key Questions is Posted Online. If original research is initiated, a short description of the project, known as an abstract, will be posted online. If a research review is initiated, a set of key questions is posted and available for public comment. The key questions are meant to guide the review process and facilitate the extraction of relevant information.
  4. Research Reviews Yield a Draft Report Available for Public Comment. Upon completion of a research review, a draft report is produced. The draft report is published online for approximately 4 weeks and is available for public comment. The public’s comments are reviewed and considered for incorporation into the final report. The draft report is removed from the Web site once the comment period is finished.
  5. Guides for Patients and Consumers, Clinicians, and Policymakers are Created Using the Findings from the Research Review. To make the key results of the final report more useful for decisionmaking, a set of guides for different audiences is created. Each guide is tailored to address the specific needs of various audiences (patients and consumers, clinicians, or policymakers). Guides are developed and revised based on audience feedback and external review.