each year. As of 2004, the ULP’s mission had been expanded to encompass a wider range of knowledge transfer activities (e.g., technical assistance, distance learning, electronic and face-to-face networking, web and teleconferencing). Its target audience has also been expanded to include providers and purchasers in addition to policy makers. To better carry out these new mandates, AHRQ has revised the ULP to focus on long-term knowledge transfer strategies for a few critical health care issues. As of December 2004, these issues were (1) developing high-reliability organizations, (2) care management, (3) purchaser–provider synergies for improving health care quality, and (4) decreasing disparities. This change in direction means that the ULP will likely not offer specific disease-focused programs in the future. Rather, multiple clinical areas of concern can be addressed within the four targeted issues identified above.13 M/SU health care policy makers, administrators, and clinicians ought to be targeted as part of ULP activities.

Conclusions and Recommendation

The committee concludes that dissemination strategies for effective M/SU treatment innovations should use the sources of communication and influence that are highly regarded in general health care in addition to those so regarded in M/SU health care. Moreover, organizations that are especially influential with private-sector providers and other policy makers and purchasers because of their past relationships should be included in a coordinated strategy. For example, with its new focus on policy makers and purchasers, as well as clinicians, AHRQ’s ULP could be an instrument for bringing M/SU health care to the attention of these key leaders.

Recommendation 4-1. To better build and disseminate the evidence base, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should strengthen, coordinate, and consolidate the synthesis and dissemination of evidence on effective M/SU treatments and services by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the Department of Justice; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Defense; the Department of Education; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the Administration for

13  

Personal communication with Steve Seitz, User Liaison Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on December 9, 2004.

 



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