AHRQ Goal: Cut Diagnostic Errors by 10 Percent

May 6, 2019
Director Gopal Khanna describes three critical challenges AHRQ will address

As the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) gets ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary, its director, Gopal Khanna, used a blog post to identify three key areas of focus going forward in its strategic planning.

Appointed in May 2017, Khanna wrote that, despite the significant challenges that health system leaders face, there is a chance for AHRQ to lead efforts that will result in higher quality, safer, and higher value healthcare services, as well as more person-centered care.

After spending the past year listening to stakeholders, Khanna said, AHRQ is developing strategies to address three critical challenges:

• Improve care for the 25 percent of Americans living with multiple chronic conditions. AHRQ aims to catalyze the development of a sustainable healthcare system that delivers high-value, coordinated patient-centered care. We envision a primary care-based system that optimizes individual and population health by preventing and effectively managing multiple chronic conditions.

• Establish an integrated data, analytics, and information platform, along with the necessary technical expertise, to capture a 360-degree view of the healthcare system. “Our goal is to ensure Federal, State, and local policymakers have timely and accurate data and useful analytic resources to make informed policy decisions about the healthcare system, he wrote.

Khanna has experience with developing this type of analytics. He came to AHRQ from the State of Illinois, where he was director of the Framework Project that developed the vision for Illinois' Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator (HHSi2), He led a cross-functional team to design the buildout of a secure data platform to provide a 360-degree view of each person and family who receives state services.

• Reduce by 10 percent the more than 12 million diagnostic errors that take place each year by applying evidence-based patient safety strategies, predictive analytics, personalized and precision medicine, and new technologies at the point of care.

He closed by saying that AHRQ will continue funding investigators on the cutting edge of health systems research; developing initiatives to help health systems implement the most effective strategies for practice improvement; and supporting greater use of data and analytics to improve healthcare decision making.