ECRI Institute Awarded New Contract by AHRQ to Oversee National Guideline and Quality Measures Clearinghouses

Aug 13, 2013, 12:01 ET from ECRI Institute

Federal contractor will implement the Institute of Medicine's recommendation for more rigorous inclusion criteria for clinical guidelines

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded ECRI Institute a new contract to continue to operate, maintain, and enhance the AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC). Combined, both websites receive more than 3.4 million visits annually.


The National Guideline Clearinghouse and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse are publicly accessible, searchable databases of summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and healthcare quality measures, measure sets, and related information. The information is presented in a standardized format that facilitates quick retrieval and comparison among guidelines and quality measures on similar topics.

The goal of NGC and NQMC is to provide physicians and clinicians, healthcare providers and payers, integrated delivery systems, and others an easy way to obtain objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and quality measures, and to further their dissemination, implementation, and use in making informed healthcare decisions.

ECRI Institute will work with AHRQ to implement more rigorous inclusion criteria for both NGC and NQMC to ensure that guidelines and measures represented in the clearinghouses were developed using scientifically sound methodologies.

Additionally, AHRQ and ECRI Institute will act on the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to indicate the extent to which guidelines represented in NGC adhere to the standards for developing trustworthy guidelines.

"We are honored to continue this very important work and look forward to the challenge of implementing a higher bar for the methodology underpinning the guidelines and measures in NGC and NQMC," says Vivian H. Coates, vice president of information services and health technology assessment, ECRI Institute, and project director for the ECRI Institute contract.

ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to patient care, has been the contractor to develop and maintain NGC since its inception in 1997, and NQMC since its beginnings in 2001. ECRI Institute will continue to collaborate with subcontractors RAND Corporation, Harvard School of Public Health, Tufts Medical Center, and The Joint Commission, along with its information technology subcontractor, Silverchair Information Systems.

AHRQ is the lead federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare. The organization sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information about healthcare outcomes, quality, cost, use, and access.

AHRQ is committed to preparing and deploying tools and materials that help key audiences understand how to put research findings and related information into practice. AHRQ also supports initiatives that disseminate and help move research into practice so healthcare decision makers can make more informed decisions that improve the quality of healthcare services.

For more information, visit, or contact ECRI Institute by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA; by telephone at (610) 825-6000; by fax at (610) 834-1275; or by e-mail at    

About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (