Objectives. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program wants learning health systems (LHSs) to use the evidence from its reports to improve patient care. In 2018, to improve uptake of EPC Program findings, the EPC Program developed a project to enhance LHSs' adoption of evidence to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care. AHRQ contracted with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and its partners to convene a panel of senior leaders from 11 LHSs to guide the development of tools to help health systems use findings from EPC evidence reports. The panel's contributions led to developing, implementing, and evaluating two electronic tools to make the EPC report findings more accessible. AIR evaluated the LHSs' use of the tools to understand (1) LHSs' experiences with and impressions of the tools, (2) how well the tools helped them access evidence, and (3) how well the tools addressed barriers to LHS use of the EPC reports and barriers to applying the evidence from the reports.
Data sources. (1) Implementation meetings with 6 LHSs; (2) interviews with 27 health system leaders and clinical staff who used the tools; and (3) website utilization metrics.
Results. The tools were efficient and useful sources of summarized evidence to (1) inform systems change, (2) educate trainees and clinicians, (3) inform research, and (4) support shared decision making with patients and families. Clinical leaders appreciated the thoroughness and quality of the evidence reviews and view AHRQ as a trusted source of information.
Participants found both tools to be valuable and complementary. Participants suggested optimizing the content for mobile device use to facilitate health system uptake of the tools. In addition, they felt it would be helpful to have training resources about tool navigation and interpreting the statistical content in the tools.
Conclusions. The evaluation shows that LHSs find the tools to be useful resources for making the EPC Program reports more accessible to health system leaders. The tools have the potential to meet some, but not all, LHS evidence needs, while exposing health system leaders to AHRQ as a resource to help meet their information needs. The ability of the EPC reports to support LHSs in improving the quality of care is limited by the strength and robustness of the evidence, as well as the relevance of the report topics to patient care challenges faced by LHSs.
Paez KA, Shapiro R, Thompson L. Qualitative evaluation of two web-based tools to improve accessibility of evidence reports. Learning Health Systems. 4 Sept 2022 [epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/lrh2.10341.
Shelton E, Mossburg S, Thompson L, et al. Stakeholder-engaged co-design and implementation of web-based tools to enhance the dissemination and implementation of AHRQ EPC reports. 23 August 2022 [epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/lrh2.10326.
Paez K, Shapiro R, Thompson L, Shelton E, Savitz L, Mossburg S, Baseman S, Lin A. Health System Panel To Inform and Encourage Use of Evidence Reports: Findings From the Implementation and Evaluation of Two Evidence-Based Tools. Methods Research Report. (Prepared by American Institutes for Research under Contract No. HHSP23320150014I/HHSP23337004T.) AHRQ Publication No. 22-EHC005. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2022. doi: https://doi.org/10.23970/AHRQEPCHEALTHSYSTEMPANEL. Posted final reports are located on the Effective Health Care Program search page.