The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has renewed Johns Hopkins' status as one of its 13 Evidence-based Practice Centers in the United States and Canada. AHRQ is the federal agency for enhancing the quality and effectiveness of health care services.
The centers, selected for five-year terms, produce evidence reports based on systematic reviews and analyses of scientific studies related to clinical, behavioral and economic issues. They also conduct research on different practices and how they're implemented, and provide technical assistance translating the reports into quality improvement tools that can be used by any organization.
"The Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center gives faculty in our schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health opportunities to capitalize on their expertise and leadership in specific clinical areas and helps to move clinical practice nationally in the direction of the strongest evidence," says the center's director, Eric B. Bass, an associate professor of medicine and health policy and management.
During its initial five-year run from 1997 to 2002, the Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center produced nine evidence reports. Topics included the management of hepatitis C patients, training of hospital personnel for bioterrorism events, blood pressure monitoring outside medical clinics, anesthesia during cataract surgery and treatment of acne.
Faculty and staff in the Hopkins EPC have more than a decade of experience in preparing literature reviews for publication in the areas of cardiology, radiology, kidney disease, eye disease, cancer, endocrinology, hypertension, prevention practices and infectious disease. They have worked with managed care organizations, other health care providers, private insurers, government agencies and specialty societies to develop clinical practice guidelines.
EPC faculty have comprehensive experience in clinical, epidemiological and health services research. They have assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new drugs, devices and procedures and the decision-making criteria and processes used by managed care organizations to make technology coverage decisions.