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Evidence Reports All of EHC



The AHRQ Evidence-Based Care (EBC) Challenge

Research Report Jun 1, 2013

Page Contents

The EBC Challenge asked nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), researchers, and other health professionals to find creative ways to translate existing AHRQ research reports into provider-friendly resources for use in retail settings. Entrants were asked to use findings from AHRQ's Health Literacy Interventions and Outcomes: An Updated Systematic Review, and either Acute Otitis Media, Update or the Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents as a basis for their submission. All three winning resources used information from AHRQ's health literacy and otitis media reports.

An independent panel of experts selected the winning teams on the basis of the effectiveness, utility, scalability, and creativity of their submissions, and on team composition.

Through the EBC Challenge, AHRQ:

  • Encouraged development of relevant and useful resources that can be adopted for use by NPs and PAs in the convenience care setting
  • Introduced and expanded use of evidence from the EHC Program to an important clinician audience
  • Increased awareness of the EHC Program and its products among the retail NP and PA communities
  • Learned about effective ways to communicate with the retail NP and PA communities

The EBC Challenge is a pilot project funded through AHRQ's Community Forum that aimed to increase awareness and use of evidence-based health care tools in retail health settings. The EBC Challenge ran from June 18 to October 19, 2012.

AcademyHealth and the American Institutes for Research led the EBC Challenge for AHRQ's Community Forum under AHRQ Contract 290-2010-00005.

The EBC Challenge: Case Study

This report documents the lessons learned from the EBC Challenge. It offers a systematic outline of key points for hosts to consider when conceptualizing, designing, and executing challenges so that they are aligned with the objectives of the activity and ultimately achieve the desired outcomes.

The EBC Challenge: Webinar

This webinar describes the EBC Challenge development, implementation, and results. It features presentations by members of the EBC Challenge Advisory Committee, project organizers, and representatives from each of the three winning teams.

For help viewing the streaming media presentation, visit Viewers, Players and Plug-ins.

Winning Submissions

First Place: QR Medica


A prototype of a Web site (PDF, 438 kB) featuring evidence-based content on otitis media for both health care providers and patients. Future versions of the Web site may include content on other key conditions commonly treated in the convenience care setting.

Judge's Commentary and Considerations

Strengths of the submission:

  • Effectiveness: This resource provides useful, relevant and easily accessible information (to both providers and patients) on the causes, symptoms of, and strategies for treating ear infections. These capabilities make it an effective, “one stop” reference for common questions and concerns for this condition. Judges also noted the advantage of having a single site through which users could access evidence-based information on other health issues commonly treated in retail settings.
  • Scalability: The Web site format, including distinct navigation for providers and patients, could be easily adapted to accommodate evidence-based care information on other health conditions of importance to retail clinic providers. And, because it is a Web site in the public domain, it could be referenced and widely distributed for use.
  • Creativity: The Web site offers information in several appealing formats, including text, images, and video, and allows users to access the resource any time. In addition, the use of QR codes enables smart phone users to navigate directly to the Web site, a feature recognized favorably by the judging panel.

Potential enhancements:

  • Organization/Navigation: The home page could be redesigned to make access to desired content more intuitive. Specifically, judges suggested better differentiation between the access point for patients and that for providers. They also noted that once beyond the home page, navigation through the actual content could be better refined and delineated.
  • Health Literacy: The use of plain, simple language throughout (but particularly for patient-oriented content) could help to ensure that the information is easily understood by the widest possible audience. For example, using the term “middle ear infections” rather than “otitis media” and simplifying other clinical terms throughout the resource could improve patient understanding.
  • Medium: The judging panel suggested development of a mechanism for users to download and print hardcopy “tear-sheets” or FAQ documents directly from the Web site. These takeaway documents could be customized for both providers and patients.

Team Members

  • Team Lead: Kelly McGee, M.B.A., M.S.N., N.P.-C, Takecare Health Services, New Albany, Ohio
  • Melinda McGaughy, M.S.N., F.N.P.-BC, Takecare Health Services, Heath, Ohio
  • Paul Vineyard, Freelance IT, Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Janet Schmittgen, B.S., R.Ph., Walgreens Pharmacy, Heath, Ohio
  • Christine Lake, A.D.N., Nursing Student: American Institute of Alternative Medicine, Columbus, Ohio
  • Jordan A. McGaughy, A.D.N., Nursing Student: Central Ohio Technical College, Newark, Ohio
  • Amanda McGaughy, B.S.N., Nursing Student: The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Second Place: PAWS Team


A double-sided brochure (PDF, 365 kB) on otitis media intended to help patients navigate treatment decisions with their provider at the point of care.

Judge's Commentary and Considerations

Strengths of the resource:

  • Effectiveness: This resource facilitates dialogue between providers and patients on a topic of high importance—namely, the full range of treatment options available for patients presenting with otitis media, including the “wait and see” approach. It includes a decision tree that enables patients, with the assistance of a visual aid, to consider all options in consultation with their care provider.
  • Scalability: The judging panel appreciated the ability to deploy the resource in any kind of setting (e.g., rural and urban), and with a variety of different patient audiences.
  • Creativity: The judging panel appreciated the PAWS (Prescription for Antibiotics or Wait and See) acronym as a creative way to help patients remember the “wait and see” approach.

Potential enhancements:

  • Organization: The evidence-based care information on the resource could be better organized to improve content flow and readability.
  • Health Literacy: The use of plain-language text to describe each option in the decision tree process would increase the usability of the resource for patients.
  • Medium: One way to increase the accessibility of this resource would be to make it available via electronic health record (EHR) systems or web-based information platforms used in retail settings. Doing so would allow providers to print and share hard-copy versions to inform their patient conversations on an as-needed basis.

Team Members

  • Team Lead: Janette Capaci, A.R.N.P., Minute Clinic, Lexington, South Carolina
  • Members, CVS, Lexington, South Carolina
    • Larry Powers, R.Ph.
    • Patti Langston, R.Ph.
    • Kristy Clark, R.Ph.
    • Amanda Matthews
    • Deborah Boland
    • Maria Taylor
    • Cheryl Lee
    • Brandon Batchelor
    • Coulton Giles

Third Place: The Tympanic Trio


A paper brochure (PDF, 426 kB) on otitis media in “flipbook” format with images on both sides of every page. The resource is designed so that, as care providers view clinical information on one side of a page, patients simultaneously see useful information in plain language on the opposite side.

Judges' Commentary and Considerations

Strengths of the resource:

  • Effectiveness: This resource displays clinical information for providers on one side of the resource and the equivalent patient-friendly, plain-language information on the opposite side. This design aspect was highly regarded by the judging panel, as was the depth of the content (which could be selectively discussed as dictated by the particular patient situation).
  • Usefulness at point of care: The judging panel also appreciated the use of visuals to describe and explain elements of the condition because it eliminates the need for providers to spend time drawing a sketch of an ear during a patient consultation and affords more opportunity for discussion and questions.

Potential Enhancements:

  • Organization: The content could be reorganized to address specific themes or common questions (e.g., “How do I prevent ear infections?,” “What are the treatment options for ear infections?,” and “What can happen if ear infections are not properly treated?”). Grouping relevant information and then articulating a specific direction for patients based on the information likely would improve flow as well as utility. The judging panel also recommended pairing the text more closely with the corresponding images so that the meaning is clearly reinforced.
  • Health Literacy: The resource could be customized for a variety of patient audiences (e.g., children's parents or guardians). The use of plain language could enhance the resource, particularly the “patient-facing” portions.
  • Medium: The judging panel suggested making this resource available via a computer screen saver or a touch-screen tool so that it could be displayed/available for consultation while patients are waiting to see providers in retail settings.

Team Members

  • Team Lead: Nicola Archie B.S.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.-C, Minute Clinic, Tampa, Florida
  • Members, Minute Clinic, Tampa, Florida
    • Tara Jones B.S.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.-C
    • Richard Kuehne M.D., M.P.H.

Judges Panel

The resources were scored by a panel of judges composed of academics, practitioners, patients, and representatives from convenience care organizations and the retail clinic industry.

  • Wayne Bennett, M.B.A., Drug Store News Group, New York City, New York
  • Maria Do, Patient Representative
  • Judy Hibbard, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon
  • Julie Lindenberg, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., D.C.C., RediClinic, Houston, Texas
  • Bob McNellis, M.P.H., P.A., Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland
  • Anne Norman, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Austin, Texas
  • Sarah Rosenberg, J.D., Convenient Care Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mary Kate Scott, M.B.A., Scott & Co., California
  • Marilyn Wideman, D.N.P., R.N.-B.C., Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois

Advisory Committee

An advisory committee composed of academics, practitioners, and representatives from convenience care organizations guided the activities of the EBC Challenge.

  • Kiley Black, R.N., C.N.P., Target Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Richard DiCarlo, M.S., P.A.-C., Take Care Health Systems, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Mary Jo Goolsby, Ed.D., M.S.N., A.N.P.-C., American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Austin, Texas
  • Julie Lindenberg, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., D.C.C., RediClinic, Houston, Texas
  • Lucy Marion, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Georgia Health Science University, Augusta, Georgia
  • Natacha Moorer, M.S.N., F.N.P.- B.C., MinuteClinic, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
  • Caroline Ridgway, J.D., Convenient Care Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Marilyn Wideman, D.N.P., R.N.-B.C., Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois

FAQs and Other Resources


The presentation of the winning resources profiled here does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or any favoritism by AHRQ. AHRQ does not make any warranty about the listed resources, expressed or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, clinical efficacy, or value of any such information or any apparatus, product, or process described or referenced in the EBC Challenge. The views and opinions of authors of the documents on this site do not necessarily state or reflect those of the AHRQ.

The inclusion of an EBC Challenge resource shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Project Timeline

How To Get Involved in the Effective Health Care Program

Jan 4, 2017
Topic Initiated
Jun 1, 2013
Research Report
Apr 17, 2018
Sep 17, 2018
Sep 17, 2018
Oct 18, 2018
Nov 30, 2022
Page last reviewed December 2019
Page originally created November 2017

Internet Citation: Research Report: The AHRQ Evidence-Based Care (EBC) Challenge. Content last reviewed December 2019. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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