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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care
 
 

Evidence-based Practice Center Evidence Report Surveillance Process

Many factors influence the decision to update an evidence report. In the face of limited resources, organizations must prioritize which reports are assessed for the currency of their content and which reports are updated when appropriate.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has instituted a process for its Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program for selecting evidence reports to be assessed for currency of their conclusions ("currency surveillance"). AHRQ selects reports central to AHRQ priorities that are also of high stakeholder impact. The stakeholder impact is determined by the utility and uptake of the report as measured by the frequency with which the report or its related products are downloaded, interest from stakeholder partners, and citation of the report in other scientific literature, including clinical practice guidelines.

For currency surveillance, the Scientific Resource Center gathers data on new research that is relevant to the topic of an EPC Program report and assesses whether the conclusions of the report are outdated. The EPC Program then posts this information on the EHC Program Web site. If the currency surveillance indicates that the conclusions are still valid, the report will remain on the website for an additional three years, after which it will be archived. The surveillance methods have been previously published.1-4

Reports that have been archived may be subsequently considered for updating by the EPC Program via the topic nomination and selection processes.

References

  1. Tsertsvadze A, Maglione M, Chou R, et al. Updating comparative effectiveness reviews: current efforts in AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. In: Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. AHRQ Publication No. 11-EHC057-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2011.
  2. Shekelle PG, Newberry SJ, Wu H, et al. Identifying Signals for Updating Systematic Reviews: A Comparison of Two Methods. Methods Research Report. (Prepared by the RAND–Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10062-I, the Tufts Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10055-I, and the University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10049-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 11-EHC042-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2011.
  3. Newberry SJ, Ahmadzai N, Motala A, et al. Surveillance and Identification of Signals for Updating Systematic Reviews: Implementation and Early Experience. Methods Research Report. (Prepared by the RAND–Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10062-I and the University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10059-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 13-EHC088-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2013.
  4. Shekelle PG, Motala A, Johnsen B. Assessment of a Method To Detect Signals for Updating Systematic Reviews. Research White Paper. (Prepared by the RAND–Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10062-I). AHRQ Publication No. 14-EHC015-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2014.