Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead federal agency for research on improving the quality of health care, reducing its cost, and broadening access to appropriate services. This research is intended to bring practical, science-based information to health care practitioners, consumers, purchasers, and policy makers. Formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the AHRQ is composed of ten major components, including the following six research centers: health care costs and financing, organization and delivery systems, primary care, quality measurement and improvement, outcomes and effectiveness, and practice and technology assessment. The agency also sponsors individual researchers (both within the agency and in outside institutions); national surveys (e.g., of health care costs or of health-plan members); and other projects (e.g., the National Guideline Clearing-house, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force).

Douglas B. Kamerow

(see also: Health Care Financing; Research in Health Departments; United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] )


Eisenberg, J. M. (1998). "AHCPR: Providing the Foundation for Improving Health Care." Academic Medicine 73:6869.