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Performance Plans for FY 2004 and 2005 and Performance Report for FY 2003

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Message from the Director

I am pleased to present the AHRQ's Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2005 and the Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Performance Report, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. AHRQ has in its plan one efficiency measure per program and has increased the number of outcome measures in FY 2005. It portrays what we have accomplished with the resources entrusted to us.

This report demonstrates how the research sponsored by AHRQ provides the scientific foundation for the Nation's efforts to improve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of health care. The Agency supports the work of health services researchers at the Nation's leading academic centers through extramural grants and contracts and maintains a rigorous intramural research program that collects and analyzes data to understand changes in health care quality, cost, use, and access. AHRQ also supports efforts to develop the tools and information used by the public and private sectors to measure and improve health care quality.

Our research portfolio, which reflects the needs of our customers, is making a difference in the health of the public. Through our Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) program, the findings of our research conducted by AHRQ staff and grantees are being translated into improvements in clinical care and in the structure and delivery of health care services. As part of that agenda, we are making a concerted effort to track the impact of our research. We plan to continue and enhance our translation efforts so that the full benefit of our research reaches the American public.

Over the last year, we have supported new investigator-initiated projects from the best and brightest health services researchers, and we have funded new targeted initiatives, such as patient safety research, which will help ensure that Americans get high quality, safe health care. We also supported training programs that have helped nurture the careers of established health services researchers and given a boost to new investigators.

Our long-standing programs continue to inform health care decisions made at all levels of the health care system, while our newer programs are releasing findings that promise to have a significant impact on the health care system. Also, the Third U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has begun to release recommendations that will greatly enhance the preventive services patients receive.

Looking ahead, I am confident that our future will be very bright and that we will have many more accomplishments to celebrate. The end result of our research will be measurable improvements in health care in America, gauged in terms of improved quality of life and patient outcomes, lives saved, and value gained for what we spend. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to building on our past successes to achieve new gains for the American people.

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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