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HHS Awards $473 Million in Patient-centered Outcomes Research Funding

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 296

October 1, 2010

AHRQ News and Numbers

Adults who developed health care-associated infections (HAIs) due to medical or surgical care while in the hospital in 2007 had to stay an average of 19 days longer than adults who didn't develop an infection, (24 days versus 5 days). For patients with an HAI, the rate of death in the hospital, on average, was 6 times as high as the rate for patients without an HAI (9 percent versus 1.5 percent). [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP, Statistical Brief #94: Adult Hospital Stays with Infections Due to Medical Care, 2007.]

Today's Headlines

  1. HHS awards $473 million in patient-centered outcomes research funding
  2. New report proposes research agenda to transform health care based on principles of industrial system
  3. Second edition of Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide is available
  4. Registration open for conference on Methodological Challenges in Comparative Effectiveness Research
  5. Watch and download AHRQ videos on YouTube
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. HHS Awards $475 Million in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Funding

AHRQ announced the award of $473 million in grants and contracts for a portfolio of coordinated projects designed to support patient-centered outcomes research, also known as comparative effectiveness research, which will help people make health care decisions based on the best evidence of effectiveness. The funding covers all of AHRQ's allocation and $173 million administered for the HHS Secretary by AHRQ. The awards are part of the investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (which included $1.1 billion to support patient-centered outcomes research. Of that total, $300 million was designated to AHRQ and $400 million was designated to be allocated at the discretion of the HHS Secretary for a variety of patient-centered outcomes research and related activities. An additional $400 million was directed to the National Institutes of Health. Select to learn more about this research. Select for a complete list of awards by category.

2. New Report Proposes Research Agenda to Transform Health Care Based on Principles of Industrial System Engineering

A new report funded by AHRQ and the National Science Foundation found multiple opportunities to use industrial and systems engineering (ISyE) to help realize the goals of a new patient-centered health care system. Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care: Critical Areas of Research explores the critical areas of research at the ISyE and health care, with a special emphasis on the supportive role of health IT. Investing in ISyE research may help in creating a fundamentally better health care delivery system. Achieving such breakthrough change requires new ISyE methods specific to health care, and integrating knowledge production across countless demonstration projects and small research efforts. Innovation in health IT has the potential to support ISyE approaches to health systems design and evaluation. The full report provides a vision of the new health system and a detailed research and action agenda. Select to access the report. (PDF File, Plugin Software Help)

3. Second Edition of Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide Is Available

AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program has released the handbook, Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide 2nd Edition. Originally published in 2007, the handbook has been completely updated with four new sections addressing emerging topics in registry science:

  • When To Stop a Registry; Use of Registries in Product Safety Assessment
  • Linking Registry Data
  • Technical and Legal Considerations
  • Interfacing Registries and Electronic Health Records

Select to access the handbook. Printed copies of the handbook are available by sending an e-mail to

4. Registration Open for Conference on Methodological Challenges in Comparative Effectiveness Research

AHRQ and the National Institutes of Health are cosponsoring a conference on "Methodological Challenges in Comparative Effectiveness Research" to be held on December 2 - 3 on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The conference will make use of case studies that pose difficult questions about what kinds of research, methods, and analyses should be used to address limitations in current evidence for interventions and tests being examined by decisionmaking bodies. The cases will address a variety of important comparative effectiveness research questions facing U.S. researchers, care providers, health systems, and patients. Topics include:

  • Comparative effectiveness of surgical and radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer: Best methods for studying multilevel heterogeneous effects.
  • Comparative effectiveness of medical and surgical treatments for stable ischemic heart disease within subgroups of patients and in the face of rapidly evolving treatments.
  • Comparative effectiveness and costs of imaging strategies for diagnosing and monitoring patients with cancer.
  • Evaluation of two high profile comparative drug safety cases: Aprotinin and Rosiglitazone.
  • Challenges of designing a "Learning Healthcare Systems" for Comparative Effectiveness Research in "Learning Healthcare Systems."

In addition to the case-based discussions noted above, consumers, economists, methodologists, policymakers, and statisticians will present two additional sessions:

  • Methods for Addressing Confounding in Observational Studies
  • Value of Information Techniques for Setting Research Priorities

Select for more information and to register.

5. Watch and Download AHRQ Videos on YouTube

View, share, and download your favorite AHRQ consumer health videos on AHRQHealthTV, a free channel available on YouTube. More than 2 dozen videos are currently available on a variety of health topics, including:

  • Taking Medications Safety
  • Questions to Ask Before Surgery
  • Tips for Going Home from the Hospital

Visit AHRQHealthTV to become a free subscriber and we'll let you know when new videos are added to the site.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Yoon J, Ettner SL. Cost-sharing and adherence to antihypertensives for low and high adherers. Am J Manag Care 2009 Nov; 15(11):833-40. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Argo JL, Vick CC, Graham LA, et al. Elective surgical case cancellation in the Veterans Health Administration system: identifying areas for improvement.Am J Surg 2009 Nov; 198(5):600-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Wang HE, Simeone SJ, Weaver MD, et al. Interruptions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation from paramedic endotracheal intubation. Ann Emerg Med 2009 Nov; 54(5):645-52.e1. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Carter BL, Ardery G, Dawson JD, James PA, Bergus GR, Doucette WR, Chrischilles EA, et al. Physician and pharmacist collaboration to improve blood pressure control. Arch Intern Med 2009 Nov 23; 169(21):1996-2002. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Oreskovic NM, Winickoff JP, Kuhlthau KA, et al. Obesity and the built environment among Massachusetts children. Clin Pediatr 2009 Nov; 48(9):904-12. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Pizer SD, Frakt AB, Iezzoni LI. Uninsured adults with chronic conditions or disabilities: gaps in public insurance programs. Health Aff 2009 Nov-Dec; 28(6):w1141-w1150. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Kawamoto K, Honey A, Rubin K. The HL7-OMG Healthcare Services Specification Project: motivation, methodology, and deliverables for enabling a semantically interoperable service-oriented architecture for healthcare. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2009 Nov-Dec; 16(6):874-81. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

If you have questions about AHRQ's activities, please try to find the answers by checking our Home Page, where we have established links to various topical areas. Also check the News & Information section and Frequently Asked Questions. You may also Browse the Web Site. These features are designed to assist you in obtaining the information you are seeking.

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Page last reviewed October 2010
Internet Citation: HHS Awards $473 Million in Patient-centered Outcomes Research Funding. October 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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