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Health Care Innovations Exchange




The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) Health Care Innovations Exchange is designed to address a major challenge in health care delivery: the slow diffusion of innovative strategies and techniques across health care providers. Every day, health care professionals and researchers develop new, effective ways of providing care, but that information often does not move easily beyond institutional walls or across health care settings (e.g., from hospitals to nursing homes, or from private physician practices to community health clinics). As a result, the innovations have limited implementation—and providers constantly reinvent the wheel because they are unaware that tested solutions already exist.

Westat led the development and implementation of a comprehensive website for the Innovations Exchange that:

  • Describes innovative strategies and quality-related tools.
  • Educates users on how to improve their organization's ability to adopt new ideas.
  • Facilitates interactions among users, innovators, and adopters.

Launched in spring 2008, this site aims to accelerate the development and adoption of innovations that improve the delivery of health care to patients. It supports AHRQ's mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans—with a particular emphasis on reducing disparities in health care delivery among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

The Innovations Exchange also provides “live” learning and networking opportunities to health care change agents. It is conducting a series of webinars discussing practical issues of adoption, implementation, and the development of evidence, with presentations of innovations that highlight these issues. The Exchange also supports a Learning Network of 16 community networks focused on community care coordination.