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AHRQ databases saved; ECRI takes over National Guidelines Clearinghouse

Patient Safety Monitor, September 1, 2018

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 As promised, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has shut down its operation of the National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC). But on July 17, a day after the site went dark, ECRI Institute announced it will take over sponsorship of the clearinghouse sometime this fall.


As reported in April, AHRQ shut down both the NGC and the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse on July 16 when federal funding to operate the two critical online databases ran out. 

For more than two decades, hospitals, clinicians, and others in healthcare have used the two clearinghouses to find vetted, evidence-based information on which to set policy, create clinical treatment plans, and objectively measure quality outcomes.

ECRI Institute, a nonprofit patient safety organization in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, has worked for the federal government since NGC was established to develop and maintain the guidelines database. And after the funding was cut, ECRI worked behind the scenes to address concerns in the healthcare industry about the loss of such a critical resource.

The July 17 announcement confirmed that ECRI was ready to launch what it called an interim website this fall to allow continued access to the NGC information. 

“ECRI Institute’s team of highly trained guideline and measure experts are taking the lead to ensure the global healthcare community has access to guidelines,” says Karen M. Schoelles, MD, SM, FACP, director of the ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine Evidence-based Practice Center and director of ECRI’s Health Technology Assessment Consulting Services.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.