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Enhancing Community-Based Primary Care Research: AHRQ Planning Grants for Practice-Based Research Networks

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Press Release: January 31, 2000

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the availability of exploratory grants to support one-year planning efforts by new or established primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs). PBRNs are groups of ambulatory practices devoted principally to the primary care of patients, affiliated with each other in order to investigate questions related to community-based practice. Each grant will support the development of a PBRN plan to:

  1. Establish or augment computer-based collection and aggregation of practice-derived data.
  2. Increase network capacity to study the health care of minority, underserved populations.
  3. Create systems to monitor medical errors and facilitate the implementation of research findings by network clinicians.
  4. Identify potential sources of ongoing network support.

It is anticipated that after successful completion of the planning phase, recipient PBRNs will be in a position to compete later for multi-year funding to carry out individually developed plans. AHRQ will offer this subsequent support, contingent upon funding availability, through a separate solicitation to be released in fiscal year 2001. The long-term goal of this initiative is to improve the capacity of PBRNs to expand the primary care knowledge base and to establish mechanisms to assure that new knowledge is incorporated into actual practice and that its impact is assessed.

AHRQ expects to award up to $1.5 million in fiscal year 2000 to support up to 14 PBRNs under this Request for Applications (RFA). Letters of intent are due by March 10, 2000, and applications are due by April 27, 2000.

To access the RFA, "Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks," online, select The RFA and application forms also are available from AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse at P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907; phone: 800-358-9295.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Salina V. Prasad, (301) 427-1864 (

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