Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Get the clinical bottom line. Evidence-based tools for you and your patients.Comparative Effectiveness Research at Work

As an advocate for evidence-based research and informed decisionmaking to improve health outcomes, MAFP is an official partner of the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program National Partnership Network, an effort of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Together with the national partnership network, AHRQ is leading the Treatment Options: Explore. Compare. Prepare. initiative to help provide reliable evidence-based resources to support clinical decisionmaking and help patients talk with their health care providers about the benefits and risks of treatment options for a variety of health conditions using the latest comparative effectiveness research.

What is Comparative Effectiveness Research?

Comparative effectiveness research (CER), a type of patient-centered outcomes research, compares drugs, therapies, medical devices, tests, surgeries or ways to deliver health care. AHRQ’s EHC Program clinician and patient resources are designed to help clinicians and patients compare the benefits, harms and side effects of a variety of health care interventions and treatments. Visit the EHC Program Website to learn more about CER and available resources.

Free Tools and Resources

Partnering with AHRQ enables MAFP to connect you with valuable research and educational tools, as well as provide the opportunity to participate in the research development process. Clinician research summaries and companion patient treatment summaries are available for free. AHRQ’s clinician research summaries are designed to help you save valuable time and quickly access reliable information. The summaries, typically just two pages, provide context about key clinical questions and offer a “Clinical Bottom Line” section that summarizes research conclusions and indicates the strength of evidence behind each finding. Patient summaries are designed to help patients and caregivers understand a variety of health conditions and treatment options. You may want to consider supplementing your patient and caregiver educational materials in your office with these resources.

Ways to Get Involved in the Treatment Options Initiative

  • Access the latest comparative effectiveness research for a variety of health conditions. Review the “Clinical Bottom Line” in clinician research summaries and share them with your colleagues in your office or at conferences.
  • Participate in free online continuing medical education/continuing education (CME/CE) modules. CEs are available for a broad spectrum of the health care team.
  • Sign up for the Program’s EHC Inside Track electronic newsletter to stay up to date on new comparative effectiveness resources and initiatives.
  • Get involved in the research. Suggest new topics for treatment comparisons and provide comments on research questions and draft reports currently in development.
  • Help your patients and caregivers in your community explore their treatment options. Review the full listing of available patient treatment summaries and order free copies for your waiting rooms by calling the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 800.358.9295 and using code C-02. All of the summaries are free of charge, and most are available in English and Spanish.
  • Bring the patient education Treatment Options: Explore. Compare. Prepare. campaign to your community. Include free Treatment Options materials (posters, fact sheets) at health fairs and annual conferences or host a virtual event. AHRQ can ship these to your organization, conference, or office. Call 800.358.9295 to place your order and use code C-02.
  • Join the National Partnership Network, a dedicated group of national, regional, and community organizations focused on increasing awareness on the use of evidenced-based resources to inform treatment decisions, supporting shared decisionmaking, and improving health outcomes. 

Quick Links to Free Resources 

To order free materials call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 800.358.9295 and use code C-02.