Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
What does AHRQ stand for in healthcare compliance?
If you hear someone talking about “AHRQ” in a healthcare setting, they’re referring to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
What is Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality?
Formerly known as “The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research,” the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a federal agency whose “mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used,” according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s website.
There are three main goals of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Those three goals include:
- To help healthcare employees boost quality
- To track healthcare system changes
- To ensure patient safety.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is most well-versed in research for health systems, analytics and data, and improvement of healthcare practice.
There are a few ways in which the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aids in the improvement of U.S. healthcare systems. One way that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality helps improve our healthcare systems is by using various tools or resources. For example, the creation of CUSP by the Johns Hopkins research team was funded by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality. CUSP, which stands for Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, is a program that has helped to decrease the number of infections caused by a central line and the number of infections caused by catheters.
Another way that the AHRQ helps improve healthcare systems in the U.S. is by using data products to provide information regarding healthcare problems, progress, and quality. Many databases and surveys are utilized to extract all kinds of information about our healthcare systems. An example would be the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys. Because these surveys allow patients to assess their healthcare experiences, they can be helpful when considering the healthcare quality of specific providers.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also helps better our healthcare systems by supporting healthcare-related research. Project ECHO, funded by the AHRQ, focuses on providing specialized care to patients who live in rural areas by assisting and teaching primary care physicians.
Even now, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is working to find ways to approach some of the most significant problems facing healthcare. Some of these problems include:
- Enhancing patient care for those with multiple chronic illnesses
- Decreasing the overuse of antibiotics
- Integrating research discoveries into EHRs
Having already solved complicated healthcare problems,the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will continue to use its multifaceted approach to discover new healthcare solutions in the future.
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