Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI)
Evidence-based Practice Center
ECRI is an independent, nonprofit international health services research organization located in suburban Philadelphia with satellite offices in the United Kingdom and Malaysia. ECRI provides information and technical assistance to the healthcare community to support safe and cost-effective patient care. The results of ECRI's research and experience are available through its publications, information systems, technical assistance, laboratory services, seminars, and fellowships. ECRI is a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization (WHO). Under its WHO Terms of Reference, ECRI serves as the WHO Archives on Medical Technology and as the WHO Archives of Healthcare Standards and Guidelines.
ECRI has served as an AHRQ-designated EPC since 1997. While most EPCs are located within academic institutions, ECRI's evidence-based medicine and health technology assessment activities are funded in a public-private cooperative model that relies on a variety of Federal and State government funding, as well as commercial sales of ECRI's evidence-based health policy resources, available through its Health Technology Assessment Information Service (HTAIS). The resources of ECRI's technology assessment work are used by a wide variety of constituencies, including public and private payers, providers, clinical specialty societies, regulators, industry, and patients and their families.
ECRI's reputation rests on its technical competence and on its strict rules to prevent conflict of interest. ECRI does not accept gifts, grants, or contracts from the medical device or pharmaceutical industries, and it examines all employees' tax returns yearly to ensure that there are no investments in these industries. ECRI's technology assessment analysts are also prohibited from investing in insurance companies or managed care plans.
ECRI's evidence reports developed under AHRQ's EPC program include:
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) in Acute-Care Stroke Patients.
- Determinants of Disability in Patients With Chronic Renal Failure.
- Treatment of Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremity.
- Air-Fluidized Beds Used for Treatment of Pressure Ulcers in the Home Environment.
- Management of Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy.
In addition to its capabilities in traditional health technology assessment methodology, the staff of the ECRI EPC also have expertise in research design and evaluation, outcomes data analysis and modeling, horizon scanning, and health policy analysis.
ECRI's other activities include such diverse areas as:
- Methodology support for clinical practice guideline development.
- >Development of evidence-based information for patients and their families.
- >Patient safety program development.
- >Adverse event reporting systems.
- >Health technology planning and engineering evaluation.
- >Technology acquisition and procurement assistance.
- >Healthcare risk management.
- >Accident and forensic investigation.
- >Healthcare environmental management.
Under separate contracts with AHRQ, ECRI performs the technical work for both the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC). NGC is a database of clinical practice guidelines, funded by AHRQ in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans. NQMC, which is under development, is a database of evidence-based healthcare quality measures. Both these medical informatics tools support users' efforts to integrate evidence-based best practices into their healthcare decisions.
ECRI also provides health technology assessment services under contract to TRICARE Management Activity, the Department of Defense agency responsible for administering the health benefits of millions of armed services personnel and their families, reservists, and retirees.
ECRI has established relationships with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) at the University of Pennsylvania. LDI will render clinical expertise and technical assistance in the development of ECRI EPC technology assessments and evidence reports.
Access the ECRI Web site at: http://www.ecri.org/About/Pages/EvidenceBasedPracticeCenter.aspx
Karen Schoelles, M.D., S.M.
Director, ECRI Evidence-based Practice Center
5200 Butler Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Phone: (610) 825-6000, ext. 5337
Fax: (610) 834-1275
Current as of October 2007
ECRI, Evidence-based Practice Center. Profile, October 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epc/ecriepc.htm