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Improving Quality in Child and Adolescent Health

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

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Tools for Quality Improvement

Evidence-based Practice Centers

Under this program, 13 5-year contracts have been awarded by AHRQ to institutions in the United States and Canada to serve as Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs).

The EPCs review all relevant scientific literature on assigned clinical care topics and produce evidence reports and technology assessments, conduct research on methodologies and the effectiveness of their implementation, and participate in technical assistance activities. Public and private sector organizations may use the reports and assessments as the basis for their own clinical guidelines and other QI activities.

Recently published EPC reports and summaries relevant to children are available from AHRQ. They include:

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Child Health Toolbox

The AHRQ-developed Web-based Child Health Toolbox provides concepts, tips, and tools for evaluating quality of health care in Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Title V, and other health care service programs for children. The toolbox is especially designed to be useful to busy State policymakers and others concerned about quality of care.

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Consumer Assessment of Health Plans (CAHPS®)

CAHPS® comprises a family of surveys that measure patients' experiences of health care, a critical dimension of quality. CAHPS® was developed by a consortium of researchers from Harvard, RAND, and the Research Triangle Institute, led by AHRQ staff.

In 2002, the National Committee on Quality Assurance, the Nation's major accreditor of managed care plans, introduced a revised, expanded CAHPS® for children into its HEDIS measurement set. The new CAHPS® for children allows plans and consumers to assess quality for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities separately from quality of care for other children.

Visit or call 1-800-492-9261, for the survey, help with survey implementation and reporting of results, and for information on the National CAHPS® Benchmarking Database (NCBD).

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Kids' Inpatient Database

AHRQ has released its year 2000 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), which enables researchers, policymakers, and others to identify, track, and analyze national trends in children's health care (use, access, charges, quality, and outcomes). The 2000 KID contains data from approximately 1.9 million hospital discharges of children 20 years of age and younger in 27 States. KID is part of HCUP, a Federal-State-industry partnership, which includes data organizations and participating States.

For more information go to

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AHRQ Quality Indicators

The AHRQ Quality Indicators (QIs) are measures of health care quality that make use of readily available hospital inpatient administrative data. Software and a user guide are now available to help users apply the QIs to their own data. AHRQ recently released a subset of the AHRQ QIs, the Prevention QIs, which include 3 indicators specific to children, and others that can be analyzed with children's hospital discharge data.

For more information, visit

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Put Prevention Into Practice

Put Prevention Into Practice (PPIP) is the vehicle for implementing recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Both activities are managed by AHRQ. For more information, visit

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20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors

This fact sheet provides specific, research-based recommendations on preventing errors related to medicines, hospital stays, and surgery. Other general recommendations are included. Copies are available from AHRQ1 (AHRQ Publication No. 00-P038). A Spanish language fact sheet is also available from AHRQ1 (AHRQ Publication No. 00-P039).

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User Liaison Program (ULP) Workshops with Senior State Officials

The ULP disseminates health services research findings in easily understandable and usable formats through interactive workshops and technical assistance for State and local health policymakers and other health services users. Summaries of workshops are available on AHRQ's Web site at:

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For More Information

AHRQ's Web site provides information on the Agency's children's health services agenda, and detailed information on funding opportunities.

Further details on AHRQ's programs and priorities in child health services research are available from:

Denise M. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Child Health
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road, Suite 2000
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 427-1868
Fax: (301) 427-1561


1. Items are available free from the AHRQ Clearinghouse. To order, contact the AHRQ Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or order online by sending an E-mail to Please use the AHRQ publication number when ordering.

2. Items may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Call NTIS at 1-800-553-6847 or visit its Web site at for more information.

Other items are not available through the AHRQ Clearinghouse. However, these abstracts and published articles can usually be obtained through the Department of Health and Human Services' National Library of Medicine MEDLINE® site at

AHRQ Publication No. 04-P002
Replaces AHRQ Publication No. 02-P013
Current as of December 2003


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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