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Using TA to Help AHRQ Bring Patient-Centered Outcomes Research to Primary Care


  • AHRQ wants to promote PCOR in primary care practices, with an emphasis on improving heart health.
  • Abt and our partners will provide TA to primary care practices that are AHRQ grantees.
  • The goal is to identify the training needs so states can support PCOR approaches.
The Challenge

For the last decade, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) has been promoting the use of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) evidence to inform news ways of delivering primary care (PC). AHRQ teamed with Abt Global and our partners to train its grantees at the state level to incorporate PCOR into their goals and approaches, specifically with the intent of improving heart health.

The Approach

Abt, in partnership with the Center for Healthcare Strategies (CHCS) and Comagine, is supporting AHRQ’s State-level Capacity for Dissemination and Implementation of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research into Primary Care initiative by:

  • Providing technical assistance (TA) to the grantees;
  • Helping AHRQ develop communications materials including tools, resources and a how-to-guide; and
  • Designing and conducting an unbiased evaluation of individual grantees and the overall grant initiative.

In partnership with Illumina Interactive, Abt is also updating AHRQ’s Primary Care Practice Facilitation Curriculum and converting it to a self-directed eLearning course.

The Results

Broadly, the goal is to help selected states develop and sustain organization that can support PC practices as they apply PCOR to improve the ABCS approach to heart health. Specifically, Abt and our partners will:

  • Build evidence on the infrastructure and training strategies needed to establish ongoing quality improvement for those practices, with a particular emphasis with those facing health disparities related to heart health.
  • Incorporate human-centered design techniques, coaching, and digital engagement to deliver the TA.
  • Produce a How-to Guide for other states interested in building sustainable infrastructure for primary care quality improvement.

To date, Abt has supported the update and design of primary care Practice Facilitation Training Modules for AHRQ, including choosing a partner who could make the eLearning course come alive. Abt selected subcontractor, Illumina, and, together, we’ve been working with AHRQ to roll out the course to providers.

Ultimately, the Practice Facilitation course was recognized with a 2021 eHealthcare Leadership Award of Distinction in the category of Best Rich Media - Healthcare Association or Professional Association.