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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality


AHRQ announces new Web site on emerging issues in medical therapeutics

A new educational Web site offers expert perspectives, advice, and guidance on drugs, biological products, and medical devices from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs), a federally sponsored network of more than a dozen leading research centers nationwide. The Clinician-Consumer Health Advisory Information Network (CHAIN) links clinicians and consumers with therapeutics information to assist in clinical practice and health care decisionmaking in areas where evidence is undergoing significant and rapid changes.

The site ( Exit Disclaimer) also provides access to educational and informational resources developed from research conducted by CERTs and intended for use in improving health care quality, safety, and effectiveness. Clinical topics included on the CHAIN Web site address the management of blood clot prevention with drug-eluting stents and expert opinions about topics where evidence is uncertain, such as restarting antiplatelet therapy if it has been interrupted.

The site's educational section includes materials to assist consumers with clinician-patient conversations and decisionmaking as well as an online medication record. Resources for clinicians include a slide library that can be adapted to educate clinical audiences and used for continuing medical education credit. 

CERTs, established in 1999, is a research program administered by AHRQ in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The overarching goal is to serve as a trusted national resource for people seeking to improve health through the best use of medical therapies. The CERTs program includes partnerships of public and private organizations, a national steering committee involving multiple sectors and CERTs investigators, a coordinating center and 14 research centers. The CHAIN Web site was designed and developed collaboratively with input from all centers, working under the leadership of the Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

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