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Research Overview

Digital healthcare knowledge and tools can enhance the efforts of patients, clinicians, and health systems working to improve healthcare quality and safety. AHRQ’s DHR program funds research to create actionable findings on what and how digital healthcare works best for these critical stakeholders in healthcare.

Now more than ever, the DHR program is focused on supporting crucial research that identifies how the various components of the ever evolving digital healthcare ecosystem can best come together to positively influence healthcare delivery and create value for its key stakeholders: patients, clinicians, and health systems. This ecosystem includes clinical, contextual, and patient-generated health data as well as the tools used to manage and apply these data, such as advanced analytics and data visualizations. The application of these data can result in new knowledge, which can take the form of computable clinical guidelines and decision support. The DHR program continues to fund research on how these ecosystem elements and the actors who create and use them can best support the quality and safety of healthcare.

Research Themes

The DHR program funds research to identify and generate knowledge and tools on how digital healthcare solutions can be designed and implemented to improve patient safety, care, and shared decision making without placing excessive burden on users, including patients, physicians, and other members of care teams.

Research in this summary is broken down by completed research and newly funded (i.e., emerging) research.

  • Completed research: 21 grants and contracts recently completed
  • Emerging research: 25 grants and contracts recently awarded

Within each stakeholder theme, we share significant findings and impact to the field for completed research and for emerging research, we share its potential significance.

In 2021, the DHR program supported 104 grants and nine research contracts across the three main stakeholder themes: