HIMSS News

AHRQ Heart Health Grants Help With EHR Use

On May 26th, 2015 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awards of $112 million to regional cooperatives to work with about 5,000 primary care professionals in 12 states to improve the heart health of their nearly 8 million patients. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The announcement is aligned with the Department’s Million Hearts  national initiative to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

EvidenceNOW:  Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care will help primary care practices in both urban and rural communities use the latest evidence to encourage efforts for Better Care, Smarter Spending, and Healthier People. The EvidenceNOW initiative establishes seven regional cooperatives composed of multidisciplinary teams of experts that will each provide quality improvement services to up to 300 small primary care practices. These services include onsite coaching, consultation from experts in health care delivery improvement, sharing best practices, and electronic health record support. This initiative will help small primary care practices incorporate the most recent evidence on how best to deliver the ABCS of cardiovascular prevention into their patients’ care: Aspirin use by high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.

Together, these grants represent one of the largest research investments to date by the AHRQ. Funding for this initiative comes from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund created by the Affordable Care Act.

For more information about AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW initiative, including details on each of the grantees and cooperatives, visit: http://www.ahrq.gov/evidencenow.html. For more information about Million Hearts, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/index.html.