Category Archives: AHRQ

AHRQ and the health of Americans: Part 3

Here we are with post #3 on the article that I’ve been talking about this week. It is a good start into some conversations or topics I hope to continue with in the future on the blog.

In part 3 I’m kind of skipping to a question that has more relevance to the technology focus of the blog and the interview. And I must say that I am quite impressed with Clancy’s response so I’m just going to re-post it here for you!

Q: The role of social media and Web messaging continues to grow, which in turn changes the way all health practitioners must communicate with consumers. In what ways has AHRQ embraced the digital world?

We are fairly active on social media.  We have had Twitter accounts since 2009. Our main account,@AHRQNews, has almost 15,000 followers ranging from health care professionals to consumers and members of the media. Our main YouTube channel, AHRQHealthTV, has almost 700 subscribers and we have different playlists for audiences interested in patient safety and prevention, as well as both in English and Spanish.  We recently launched an AHRQ Facebook page as well ( where we communicate AHRQ’s research and tools with consumer-friendly messages.  We also feature a podcast series called Healthcare 411 on our website and it is also broadcast to about 2,000 radio stations across the country.  Achieving patient-centered care is all about getting valid, reliable information to where patients live, work and play – rather than relying only on information dispenses during a clinical encounter.  We really believe that adding these different communication tools helps us reach a wide variety of audiences where they are – and see this as a shared opportunity with our public health colleagues.


That is a heck of a lot of resources, general ones at least, to get a patient started on asking questions, getting information, and at the least starting their own technological path to health. OK, I’m stoked for the moment and have a lot more reading and video watching to do on this one!

So do you do any reading or have any sites that you frequent when you are looking for information? I know those in Texas have recently been concerned with West Nile virus so you may have some sites that you kept up with?

Post #1 or Post #2


AHRQ and the health of Americans: part 1

This article that came out this morning in the Public Health Newswire is just packed full of stuff to talk about with you!! I’m doing a happy dance right now!! I’m going to take it a question at a time because I have so much to comment and I want to give you time to think and respond.

The first question that they ask Carolyn Clancy, MD and director of AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – I’ve mentioned them before) is :

Q: AHRQ aims to improve health care services for all Americans. What role does communication play in helping the agency achieve its goal? in which she responds “The main “currency” of health care is communication – and information.” Yes, finally!!! We are admitting that the patients exist as living speaking being that can tell you what is going on if you just TALK to them! They aren’t just lab test 010101. Clancy even points to the AHRQ campaign Questions Are the Answer campaign. It give you good points to remember when dealing with your care with a clinician. The campaign provides 10 questions that you should know to ask your clinician. (I am purposely using the word clinician here because often you don’t just see a doctor but perhaps a nurse practitioner or a physicians assistant.) It also breaks down what you should expect or be prepared for in the different phases of this care cycle – before, during and after your appointment. There is an interactive build your own questions that I just adore! It helps select questions, then helps you prioritize them and then (!!!!) it puts it into a printable format with space to write the answers and notes that you can take with you to the clinicians!

Overall, don’t let the visit intimidate you. Prepare for it. YOU are the customer. YOUR life is the one being given the focus and attention. This especially applies if you are taking a child to see a clinician. And now, due to my own circumstances I am aware, it is often an elderly parent that needs to have this same preparation for an appointment by the caregiver or family member.


Stay tuned for the next segment!


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