Download the 2019 Year in Review Report (PDF, 6.02 MB)

Research Spotlights

AHRQ has a long history of investing in health services research that produces foundational work exploring the many applications of IT and digital healthcare to improve health delivery (e.g., telemedicine, HIE, e-prescribing). In recent years, AHRQ-funded research has addressed two important aspects of digital healthcare approaches to improving patient care: scaling and disseminating evidence-based interoperable CDS and advancing the use of PROs, both of which have the capacity to significantly improve quality of care.



AHRQ’s Clinical Decision Support and Patient-Report Outcomes research initiatives provide real-world demonstrations of interoperability. They shed light on what is feasible, where challenges exist, and what might be needed to overcome those challenges.

Improving Care: Advancing Evidence into Practice through Interoperable, Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support

AHRQ has a long history of investing in research on making CDS more effective, usable, and shareable. Most recently, through funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Trust Fund, AHRQ has invested in a multi-component initiative with two ambitious goals: 1) to advance PCOR evidence into practice through CDS, and 2) to make CDS more shareable, standards-based, and publicly available. The following AHRQ-funded research is a sampling of the agency’s investment in scaling and sharing effective, practical CDS tools.

Read the CDS Research Spotlight


PRO Highlight: AHRQ Advances the Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes to Improve Care

AHRQ partnered with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on a project that aimed to advance the collection and integration of standardized PRO data in a manner that supports interoperable sharing of information. ONC developed the PRO Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) Implementation Guide (IG) that guides developers in implementing FHIR® for the exchange of PRO data as well as the capabilities required for a successful integration of PROs in patient records. AHRQ hosted a challenge competition to develop applications incorporating the PRO FHIR® IG.

Read the PRO Research Spotlight