Clinical pharmacy co-op student: Vivian Bui
The aim of an applied health research question or AHRQ is to provide data, analyses and knowledge to build a strong, evidence-based foundation for innovation and decision-making with respect to current and emerging professional services Ontario’s pharmacists provide to their patients.
An AHRQ typically begins as a question posed by OPEN’s knowledge users — the health system policy-makers and providers who are partners in our research and the users of the knowledge we generate. Our knowledge users represent Ontario organizations that seek research evidence to inform their planning, provision of services, or policy and program development in the health and healthcare system.
Types of responses to an AHRQ
Type 1. Rapid response — Preliminary information is provided within one week, giving the knowledge user a “first blush” response. This could, for example, take the form of expert opinion or a systematic review, article or report on a given policy topic.
Type 2. Research report or technical brief — Approximately 4–8 weeks of work is conducted to synthesize existing research evidence on a given topic. The final product here could be a presentation or a report.
Type 3. Research project — If novel knowledge must be generated, new research projects will be initiated. The duration may be months or years, depending on the project.
The following AHRQs were submitted by our knowledge users and are now complete
- The role of outreach and practice facilitation in pharmacy services training
- Smoking cessation
- Inappropriate medication use and serious medication adverse events in community-dwelling seniors with dementia
- Bias in clinical interactions between patients and pharmacists
- Improved prevention and control of infectious disease
- Ontario pharmacy students as immunizers
The following AHRQs were submitted by our knowledge users and are in progress
- Capturing activities performed by family health team pharmacists and evaluating their impact on patient care
- Pan-Canadian medication management planning
- Pharmacist-provided “problem-based MedsChecks”
- Incorporating community pharmacists into Community Health Links
- Baseline evaluation to develop a practice site assessment and continuous improvement program
- Determining perspectives of stakeholders on priorities for economic analyses of billable pharmacy services in Ontario
- Pharmacy Smoking Cessation Program 2.0
- Development of a diabetes decision aid for patients and pharmacists
- Community implementation of deprescribing guidelines
- Developing a self-audit application for pharmacy practice
- Influenza vaccine distribution
Do you have an AHRQ?
We encourage current and new knowledge users to ask us policy-relevant research questions and to provide contact information for other organizations that may be able to take advantage of this capacity-building opportunity.
Before you begin formulating an AHRQ, we encourage you to read OPEN’s AHRQ Procedure and Process , a document that explains our process for reviewing and selecting AHRQs. If you feel your question meets the criteria, please complete and submit OPEN’s AHRQ Knowledge User Request Form 2018-19 to begin the process.
We adjudicate AHRQ requests in June and October each year based on availability of funding. You are also welcome to contact Mansur Mehdi if you have specific questions about AHRQs or seek additional information about OPEN’s AHRQ process.