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AHRQ Web resource features 100 examples of health care innovations and tools

A new Web resource that allows users to learn, share, and adopt innovations in the delivery of health services is available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The resource—called the Health Care Innovations Exchange—can be found at http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov.

AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange is the Federal government's repository for successful health care innovations. It also includes useful descriptions of attempts at innovation that failed. The Web site is a tool for health care leaders, physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who seek to reduce health care disparities and improve health care overall.

The Web site has 100 examples of innovations in the delivery of health care services and attempts at innovation; that number will increase as the site is updated every two weeks. Profile examples include an intensive care unit's successful efforts to shorten patient stays by setting and adhering to daily care goals; an initiative by geriatricians, nurse practitioners, and social workers to help seniors avoid institutional care by visiting seniors at home; and a patient/physician E-mail communication system that overcomes the inconvenience of automated phone systems and accommodates the difficult schedules of both the physician and the patient.

Through learning and networking opportunities offered by the Health Care Innovations Exchange, users can:

  • Read articles and perspectives on the creation and adoption of innovation.
  • Read expert-generated commentaries on specific innovations.
  • Comment on specific innovations.
  • Participate in topic-specific presentations (e.g., Webinars) and discussions.
  • Join online forums that connect innovators with organizations that adopt them. Participants will identify new approaches to delivering care, develop effective strategies for implementation and evaluation, and share tips and information.

In addition to offering a venue for learning and networking, the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange offers a new home for AHRQ's QualityTools, a collection of tools used in quality improvement efforts.

Since 2007, AHRQ has reached out to the health care community and called for the submission of potential health care innovations. Only truly innovative initiatives are included in the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. Innovations must be new or perceived as new to a particular context or setting relative to the usual care processes. They must have potential for high impact on the delivery of patient care, whether preventive, emergent, chronic, acute, rehabilitative, long-term, or end-of-life. In addition, they should be designed to address the need for the reduction of health disparities in populations of interest to AHRQ, which include low income groups, minority groups, women, children, the elderly, and individuals with special health care needs.

The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange is one of several AHRQ products that help health care professionals share information about evolving trends in health care. Among the other products are the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (http://www.guideline.gov), which is a searchable database of clinical practice guidelines; and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov), a public repository for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets.

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