One historical eventthat is important to the nursing practice today is the establishment of theAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Potlick and Beck (2017) reportedthat the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was given the responsibilityto improve health care, decrease the cost of healthcare, and help create asafety patient environment. This was a necessary step forward to see evidencebased practice grow larger (p 5).The creation of the Agency for Healthcare Research andQuality (AHRQ) was a progressive step in quantifying improvements to care andreduction of problems in the healthcare industry. The US Department of Healthand Human Services (2012) offered information explaining how the agency came tobe, as it was originally created in 1989 and joined to become apart of the PublicHealth Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, butthen in 1999, the agency changed their name to the Agency for HealthcareResearch and Quality.
This name change occure under the Healthcare Research andQuality Act of 1999 (para. 1)The AHRQ (2017) reports that the mission is to enhance thequality and effectiveness of healthcare, making it safer via care, and allowingthe accessibility to be more convenient regarding their services. To effectivelyenhance healthcare, the AHRQ conducts research, partakes in projects, andevaluates important areas in the healthcare setting. It may also create certainguidelines and obtain information necessary to publicize their findings (AProfile, para 1). The AHRQ conducts its own research, participates in researchled by other institutions, such as hospitals and schools, and responds to theoutcome of research and trials with strong initiatives.
These initiativesinclude everything from basic education of findings to patients, to structuredprotocols and models that are adapted industry-wide by healthcare professionals.The goals in their mission are extremely important for the improvement of patientsand healthcare overall. The AHRQ (2017) stated that multiple studies by organizations likeThe Institute of Medicine highlighted major problems in the healthcare industryin the late 1990s which drove the nation to recognize flaws in healthcare andsupport AHRQ becoming the leader in change that it is today (What We Do, para.1). Anentity like AHRQ, which is supported by and connected to the government, hasthe resources and horsepower to enhance quality of patient care, preventerrors, and improve safety through use of evidence based practices. The AHRQ wasa necessary addition to the Department of Health and Human Services because nowthere is a sector of government which dedicates funding and research to thewell-being of patients. Since the creation of the AHRQ, many discoveries have beenmade via nursing research and evidence-based practice. Potlick and Beck (2017) saidthat evidence-based practice came from the idea that health-care workers shouldnot center their work on habit, but instead on actual scientifc researchfindings (page.
51). According to the AHRQ (2018), there are currently 13Evidence-based practice centers (EPC) funded by the Agency for HealthCare andResearch Quality (Centers. para 1). These programs are extremely importantbecause they allow the agency to conduct their research to better healthcare bycreating reports and assessments on topics that are relevant and common to thevarying populations, especially those using Medicare and Medicaid. The EPC’shave been able to foster research immensely in the healthcare world, allowingpatients and procedures to be studied all with one main goal of improvingexperience and safety.
John Hopkins University Evidence-based practice centercompleted a study in December on “Methods for Evaluating Natural Experiments inObesity: Systematic Evidence Review.” The objective of the study according toBennet et al. (2017), was to analyze prior studies done that observed andevaluated obesity and the prevention of it (p vii).This is important in today’s practices because obesity is such an epidemic and canaffect many parts of the treatment for all ages ranging from children to adult.Lots of research is being done on how to effectively care and decrease theamount of obesity seen today. Theresearch by Bennet et al. (2017) concluded that, their findings help implement the need for advances that will strengthenmedical efforts to decrease obesity andpossible control it more (p viii).
As stated by the AHRQ (2017), with the help of the EPC’s, research,and tools used within the AHRQ community they have been able to lead the Nationto top responses in improving safety for health care and patients (para. 1).Some statistics defending this claim stated by the Agency for Healthcare Researchand Quality (2017) includes, “Using AHRQ’s research and how-totools, the U.S. health care system prevented 1.3 million errors, saved 50,000lives, and avoided $12 billion in wasteful spending from 2010–2013” (AHRQ, para 2).