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National Guidelines and Quality Measures Clearinghouses

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Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) Notice #AHRQ-07-10005

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is soliciting proposals to maintain and evaluate two AHRQ Internet repositories: the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC).

This Notice is also posted at the Federal Business Opportunities site.

AHRQ is soliciting proposals for the National Guidelines and Quality Measures Clearinghouses from offerors who have the capability to migrate, operate, maintain, enhance, and evaluate two existing yet related AHRQ Internet repositories of evidence-based information and associated companion materials. These are:

  1. The National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC), at, for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
  2. The National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC), at, for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets.

These Web resources have a database-backend, are indexed and searchable, and adhere to Health on the Net (HON) code ethics. Relationships between the two databases and Web sites that have already been established will be maintained. For this solicitation, each repository will retain its unique URL and name.

Content in NGC and NQMC is presented in a standardized format using a template of attributes specific to each Clearinghouse. This format permits side-by-side comparison of database content online. All guidelines in NGC and all quality measures in NQMC meet specific inclusion criteria. NGC has two additional content items: syntheses and Annotated Bibliographies. NQMC has browse features not available in NGC. NGC has search features not available in NQMC. This requirement is content driven supported by information technology. While there are information technology components in the requirement, it is not IT driven. Content on both the NGC and NQMC must be evaluated against evidence-based practice standards separate and apart from IT standards.

The goal of these two Clearinghouses is to provide physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, health care providers, health plans, integrated delivery systems, purchasers and others an accessible mechanism for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and quality measures and to further their dissemination, implementation and use in order to inform health care decisions.

This requirement will develop, deploy and maintain the processes and systems to collect, abstract, index, publish, update and archive clinical practice guidelines and quality measures. Implementation or evaluation tools associated with the submitted guidelines or measures will be identified and shared as potential content with AHRQ's QualityTools Contractor. The guidelines and measures will be evaluated, extracted, entered and stored in a database; they will be posted to the existing Web sites.

Early in this requirement's life cycle, the Contractor will make recommendations to AHRQ on enhancements to each Web site (content, functionality, design), and following a systems development life cycle and configuration management plan, conduct usability tests, and through an iterative process refine the enhancements, test, eventually deploy, operate, maintain and assess customer satisfaction.

Related content tasks include establishing a single expert panel and a single editorial board with capacity to offer guidance to both projects, propose revisions to the established content inclusion criteria and templates of attributes. The expert panel will guide the Clearinghouses on broad project areas, and will participate in approval of revisions to the inclusion criteria and standardized template.

The Editorial Board will work with the content teams in key aspects of content development and production, such as, but not limited to, reviewing submissions against the inclusion criteria and judging how new or emerging knowledge in the clinical practice guideline and quality measurement fields could be acted upon. The Editorial Board will also serve to assist in the development of recommendations on what information to seek from submitters in an online submission form (not currently available) and on how to enhance the user's experience with the content currently posted, fill content gaps, and manage posting of user comments to the Web site, including responses from relevant guideline or measure developer organizations much like that done for scientific journals.

The Web sites shall continue to be user-centered and meet requirements of the E-Government Act of 2002, including ensuring information quality, following Department of Health and Human Services-wide policies, communicating with the public and following the Paperwork Reduction Act, using the approved domains, implementing security controls, protecting privacy, maintaining accessibility, and managing records and documentation.

Proposals must demonstrate expertise in:

  • Developing, appraising, implementing and using evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and quality measures.
  • Developing or evaluating and integrating informatics in efforts related to health services research, clinical practice guidelines or quality measures.
  • Expertise in indexing using the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System.
  • Complex database and government Web-site development and maintenance.
  • Managing and working with expert panels and editorial boards.

In addition, Sources must demonstrate expertise in developing and managing complex content driven projects under tight timelines.

Proposals must demonstrate personnel are seasoned professionals with education and proven experience with successful results in areas such as:

  • Development, implementation, use, and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines and quality measures.
  • Development of clinically related classifications schemes and use of National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language system.
  • Working with developers of clinical practice guidelines and quality measure, as well as, clinical organizations, including but not limited to hospitals, health plans, and medical specialty societies.
  • Completing highly technical and complex projects.
  • Migrating and constructing large relational databases.
  • Migrating and developing user-friendly Government Web sites.

A Presidential Management Intern (PMI)-certified or PMI-certification-eligible Project Manager is required as well as a demonstrated ability to provide Earned Value Management (EVM) information.

The requirement is advertised on a full and open competition basis. It is anticipated that the procurement will be on a cost reimbursable basis for a six-year period of performance (three year base with one three-year option). For information purposes, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code applicable is 516110 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting (500 people). The successful offeror will comply with the HHS/AHRQ small business subcontracting goals set forth in the Request for Proposal.

In addition to the solicitation being available on the Federal Business Opportunities site (, it will be available for downloading from the internet on AHRQ's site at It is the offerors responsibility to monitor this site for release of the solicitation, download their own copy of the solicitation, and to monitor this site for any subsequent amendments. It is estimated that the solicitation will be issued on/about January 26, 2007, with proposals due April 24, 2007.

Current as of January 2007


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