There are a number of organizations that assist inmonitoring and setting standards in the healthcare industry and there are standardsthat the healthcare industry must follow. Therefore, these agencies have a greatinfluence the management of healthcare information.
Many of these agencies arehealthcare research organizations which help in the promotion and encourage thespread of research throughout healthcare organizations. The Agency forHealthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is one of these agencies that improvethe quality of healthcare with its investments in research and data collection. Research about healthcare delivery system and studies organizationalstructures and systems as well as the effectiveness of care is called Health ServicesResearch (Sayles, 2016, p.187-189). The Agency forHealthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the most influential organization inhealthcare service information within the federal government.
Thisagency inspects problems pertaining to the healthcare delivery system, diseaseprotocols, and guidelines for enhancement of disease control and assesses theirrate of success (Sayles). The AHRQ is a federal agency whose goal is to improve thehealth care of Americans by making healthcare safer, more affordable and improvingthe quality of healthcare. This lies within the U.
S. Department of Health andHumans Services and with many additional partners in efforts to make certain thatits suggestion and research is understood and used (Mission, 2015). Inits effort to fulfill its mission, the AHRQ supports heath services researchwithin its own organization as well as research from academic institutions, physician’soffices, hospitals, health care systems and numerus additional settingsthroughout the United States. The AHRQ has a team of supportedresearchers whose efforts are to answer question pertaining to clinicalpractice, effectiveness and outcomes of care, evidence-based medicine, care forpriority population and primary care, the quality of health care, patientssafety/medical errors, the organization and implementation of healthcareresources and provision of care, the financing and cost of healthcare, the systemof healthcare and awareness of public health, as well as health informationtechnologies. Through these efforts, the primary objective is to spread theresults of AHRQ’s research in order to create a healthier, more productive populationand provide greater financial return on the United States’ huge investment inhealthcare.
The organizationalstructure of the AHRQ supports its mission and helps the organization operate efficiently.The Office of Directors has the responsibility of directing the AHRQ to overseethat the organization’s goals are being achieved. Workingin this department are three individuals: Gopal Khanna, The Director; Sharon B.
Arnold, The Deputy Director and Jeffery Toven, The Executive Officer. Some of the specific roles of the Office ofDirectors are to give the AHRQ leadership, maintain the organization’s extraordinarystandards for research and scientific integrity, and manage the NationalAdvisory Council. The office of Extramural Research,Education and Priority Population, is responsible for reviewing scientificprograms to select funding of grants and contracts. This branch of the AHRQ isresponsible for managing the Agencies’ research training and career developmentprograms, and encourages the spread of health service research throughout the population.
The office of Communications is in charge of creating and managing platforms forspreading the agencies’ research findings and messages to both internal andexternal customers. The Office of Communications consist of three divisions:The first is the Division of Print and Electronic Publishing which is in chargeof managing published information about the organization, such as websiteposting. The AHRQ’s Office of Management Services, is in charge of leading and organizingprogram plans throughout the entire agency and assesses and evaluatesadministrative operations and activities.
Another department within the AHRQ, is the Center forDelivery, Organization and Marketing which uses research to develop the company’sleading providers of healthcare delivery, organization and marketing advancements.This branch has researchers that pinpoint the needs of developing research,managing the collection of research contracts and grants, establishing whichpeer-research are published and finally it creates databases and software toolsused within these databases. The Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, managesthe study of the cost, financing and access to healthcare and its services and associatedtrends. This branch of the AHRQ also supports policy and behavioral analysisand research by creating data sets. The Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement, helpsimprove healthcare practices by producing new information, produces newevidence, and establishes what works in the healthcare delivery system. Thereare five divisions of this branch: The Evidence-Based Practice Center Program, TheU.
S. Prevention Service Task Force Program, The Division of Decision Scienceand Patient Engagement, Division of Healthcare Information Technology and The Divisionof Practice Improvement. In addition, The Center for Quality Improvement andPatient Safety uses research and evidence to improve our healthcare system’squality and safety.
Some of the responsibilities of the Center for QualityImprovement and Patient Safety are to back research that isuser-driven pertaining to the patient’s safety and the measure of quality of healthcare,reporting and improvements. They are also responsible for creating and sharinginformation and reports on healthcare quality measures and developments.Overall,the AHRQ’s organizational structure is successful in their efforts to share anddistribute their findings on patient safety. The AHRQ was first established on December 19, 1989 and wasoriginally named the Agency of Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). It wasrecognized as a Public Health Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Healthand Humanities Services and was established under the Omnibus BudgetReconciliation Act of 1989 (Info). The organization implemented its new name,the Agency for Health Research and Quality on December 6, 1999, and was createdas a result of the Health Research and Quality Act of 1999 (Info,).
TheNational Center for Health Services Research was created on July 23, 1979. Thisprogram, established by the United States Government, was responsible forconducting research pertaining to health services which aided in paving the wayfor the creation of the AHRQ (allgov). When it was first established in 1989,the AHRQ had a ten-year life-span and its mission was to “Support researchdesigned to improve the quality, safety, efficacy and effectiveness of healthcare for all Americans.” As a way to try to improve medical practices in itsbeginning years of establishment, the AHRQ decided to carry out hugemulti-institutional, multidisciplinary jobs that looked at specific conditionsthat patients had, and the effects they had on them. Atthis time, the AHRQ indorsed a lot of criticism from medical professionals whoweren’t happy with the suggestions and recommendations the organization made anddidn’t like AHRQ interfering with the practice of medicine. As a result, theorganization decided to put its efforts on hold. However, the agency’s largestmistake was made in the early 1990s, when it got involved in the healthcarereform plan of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Representatives from the AHRQ worked very closely with the White Houseon Clinton’s plan and as a result, when the Healthcare Reform effort failed,the AHRQ was associated with this failure.
Therefore, when Congress was taken control of by the Republicans in 1994,they remembered the AHRQ’s involvement in these efforts. When the Republican Party gained control over Congress in1995, as part of their proposal to reduce government spending, they debatedeliminating the AHRQ. Although the AHRQ was able to overcomethis obstacle, it continued to survive despite this threat and moving forward,the organization’s officials gained a more cautious outlook regarding its work.After facing this obstacle, the agency learned a very important lesson: “Ofavoiding activities that may generate negative political fallout.” The mandate of the AHRQ was due to expire in 1999, and Congresswas responsible in making the decision whether or not to renew it. ThoughCongress eventually chose to renew the organization’s mandate, the agency sustainedafter a few changes were made. The new legislation’s most important change was alteringthe name of the agency.
The name change that was made changed The Agency forHealth Care Policy and Research to its present day name, The Agency forHealthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The removal of “Policy” from the namewas purposely changed to “Quality,” because of the idea that the agency’sformer name would continue to be associated with Clinton’s Healthcare Reformsfailure. The legislation’s name change also successfully stopped the AHRQ’sdevelopment of practice guidelines and specified that the organization was nota regulatory body. As a result of the agency’s mistakes, the AHRQ kept in mindsome significant ideas moving forward.
One was “The value of engaging inactivities that are important to those in the administration and Congress whoaffect the agency’s resources” and, “The need to make key constituencies awareof the agency’s activities (ballotpedi).” In conclusion, today the ARHQ’smain focuses are on funding for research grants and funding, and up keeping thequality of healthcare delivery services. The AHRQ provides research that helps improves thequality of healthcare while also making it safer and more cost effective forcitizens of the Unites States. Individuals such as caregivers, patients, healthcare physicians, federal organizations, researchers and policymakers depend onthe AHRQ and their efforts to fund, conduct and dispense a wide range ofhealthcare service research findings which help improve decision making andenhances healthcare facilities, services and financing. The AHRQ is in chargeof finding out and making sure that United States citizens’ yearly $3.0trillion investment in healthcare can have a higher values, be more effectiveand meet the specific needs of all Americans. The AHRQ reachesits goals by participating in three different kinds of activities. The first isby improving the quality, safety and accessibility of healthcare by investingin research that aids in doing this.
Another goal is to provide resources tohealthcare providers to teach and train professionals in making improvements inhealthcare. The final goal is to create measures that track and advance theevaluation process and performance. The AHRQ’s initiative for Health Information Technology(HIT) is a significant contributor in the Nation’s plan to help get informationtechnology established in healthcare. The addition of HIT into primary care iscomprised of multiple electronic methods that are used to manage data, researchand statistics regarding the public’s health and healthcare for both individualsand groups of patients. In primary care, Health IT is comprised of: Clinical DecisionSupport, Computerized Disease Registries, Computerized Provider Order Entry,Consumer Health IT Applications, Electronic Medical Record Systems (EMRs, EHRs,and PHRs), Electronic Prescribing, and Telehealth. The AHRQ’s National ResourceCenter for Health Information IT, is the connection between health care for thepublic and researchers and specialists that are on the forefront of HealthIT.
The National Resource Centersupports the acceptance and adoption of Health IT which provides the newestequipment, tools, best practices and research outcomes from the unique truelaboratories. Someof these Health IT resources include, Workflow Assessment for Health ITToolkit, Health IT Tools and Resources and Health IT Literacy Guide. The AHRQ is one of the twelve organizations in theDepartment of Health and Human Services that works to improve the safety andquality of health care for the citizens of the United States by investing indata and research to help reach its mission. During the course of its existence,AHRQ has improved and supported healthcare facilities and has helped healthcareprofessionals in improving the quality of healthcare for patients.