Health care agency to spend $473M on IT projects

Agency also considering online inventory for comparing data on medical treatments

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has started giving $473 million in grants and contracts for projects to use IT systems to compare the effectiveness of medical treatments.

The grants are being awarded with funding from the economic stimulus law and will include developing patient registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data systems that can be used to generate data about treatment outcomes and options.

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The comparative effectiveness research is also known as patient-centered outcomes research. It is designed to provide evidence to allow patients to compare various treatment options.

Categories for awards include data infrastructure, dissemination, translation and implementation.

The agency, part of the Health and Human Services Department, also wants input on approaches to developing an online inventory of comparative effectiveness research that can make the research accessible to the public via the Web.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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