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Evidence-Based Practice Center

ECRI Institute has served as an Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) — the health services research agency under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — since the inception of the EPC Program in 1997. In August 2012, ECRI Institute was awarded a new 5-year contract under EPC4 for the ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine EPC. Under this new contract, ECRI Institute partnered with Penn Medicine (the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine); two woman-owned Small Disadvantaged Businesses (Provider Resources Inc. and Insight Policy Research); and a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (Duty First Consulting).

ECRI Institute is one of only 11 institutions/organizations to hold an EPC designation. Under the EPC Program, ECRI Institute has developed a number of evidence reports, systematic reviews, and horizon scans, and has assembled, conducted, and facilitated technical expert panel meetings in support of several of the reports. The task orders commissioned under the EPC Program cover a breadth of health conditions, medical/surgical treatments, health services, and medical technologies, and are used by clinicians, policymakers, health system leaders, and other healthcare professionals as a means to underpin clinical recommendations and inform coverage decisions.

With the passing of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) in 2003, AHRQ instituted the Effective Health Care Program. This program supports the work performed under Section 1013 of the Act, which authorizes AHRQ to conduct and support research with a focus on outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness of devices, prescription medications, diagnostic tests and health care services. The reports (comparative effectiveness reviews [CERs]) produced under this program are subject to intense public scrutiny. ECRI Institute was one of the very first EPCs to develop a CER under this program (Noninvasive Diagnostic Tests for Breast Abnormalities), which has recently been updated. ECRI Institute has also completed CERs in the areas of diagnosis of breast lesions and surgical options for inguinal hernia, and is currently conducting reviews of spinal fusion for lumbar pain and interventions for adults with serious mental illness in the criminal justice system. Further information can be found on the Effective Health Care web site:

Access the reports ECRI Institute has developed under the EPC program.

ECRI Institute's Comparative Effectiveness Resource Center

Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)