Nine NRHI Members Named Partners in New AHRQ Study

Study to Measure How High-Performing Health Care Systems Promote Evidence-Based Practices in Delivering Care

(PORTLAND, ME) The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) recently announced funding of three Centers of Excellence to promote the use and dissemination of evidence-based medicine practices. The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and nine of its members will play an active role.

The Centers will identify characteristics of health systems that successfully disseminate and apply evidence from patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), and will analyze the connections between dissemination of this research with patient health outcomes and effective use of resources. The initiative will formally launch September 1.

The NRHI members selected by AHRQ are Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives (RHICs), organizations that work collaboratively within geographic regions to improve multiple facets of the health care system in their regions and nationally.

“The fact that nine of our member RHICs were selected for this work is further evidence of the growing recognition that these organizations are critical partners in health improvement activities. RHICs are of value not only for their data resources and analytics capabilities, but also for their trusted relationships with local providers and other stakeholders and their unique understanding of the marketplace and health care delivery systems,” says Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO of NRHI.

One of the Centers of Excellence is a team comprising the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Harvard University, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and four of NRHI’s member RHICs:

  • Health Care Quality Corporation, Oregon
  • Center for Improving Value in Healthcare, Colorado
  • Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, Massachusetts
  •  HealthInsight, Utah

This Center will create a large national database that identifies US health systems, their characteristics and outcomes, as well as the evolving consolidation and integration of systems over time. The Center will use the database to study health systems nationally, with a focus on cancer care, pediatric health care delivery, dialysis and post-acute care.

A second Center of Excellence will be led by RAND and Penn State University, and includes five additional NRHI member RHICs:

  • Integrated Healthcare Association, California
  •  Minnesota Community Measurement, Minnesota
  • Washington Health Alliance, Washington
  •  Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Wisconsin
  •  HealthBridge, Cincinnati

This second Center will examine health systems in five regions with the goal of understanding the role of incentives, use of health IT and organizational integration within systems and its impact on performance and evidence dissemination.

The third Center, which does not include NRHI members, will use mixed methods involving existing and ongoing claims-based data, conduct a national survey of health care organizations and systems to understand the inner workings of systems, and in particular, how market and organizational factors influence the implementation of biomedical, delivery system and patient engagement innovations.

For more information about NRHI or its members, go to nrhi.org.