Ensuring an Evidence Base for Decisionmaking


To ensure high-quality care and the most efficient use of resources, clinicians and patients need to have the best possible evidence about the effectiveness of medical interventions. Research that compares treatment interventions and devices (“comparative effectiveness research”) can help determine what works best for particular patients. These studies are costly and require financial support from the public. Consumers and other stakeholders should participate in the identification of research priorities and goals to ensure that resources spent on comparative effectiveness research address areas of importance to them.

In 2009 the American Recovery and Reimbursement Act provided $1.1 billion for HHS, through the AHRQ and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct comparative effectiveness research. In 2010, the ACA authorized the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, charged with identifying research priorities, establishing a research agenda, conducting research, and disseminating research findings.

Ensuring an Evidence Base for Decisionmaking: Policy

Evidence and decisionmaking

In this policy: Federal

Congress should ensure adequate funding for research on the comparative effectiveness of treatment interventions, including prescription drugs, medical devices, and procedures. Research should apply to all health care settings and populations, including vulnerable groups. Funding also should support research to determine the most effective person- and family-centered care delivery approaches, including those intended to address the needs of people with multiple chronic conditions.