Frequently Asked Questions

Check to find the answers to your questions about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) programs and activities. You can search by category or key words. You can also send us your questions or website feedback here. We will respond to your requests based on the best available scientific evidence and research from our Agency.

AHRQ cannot provide diagnoses or specific medical advice to individuals on their personal health conditions and situations.


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AHRQ provides the software to any interested organization for use with their own hospital discharge data. The Quality Indicators software is designed to read hospital administrative discharge data that generally conforms to HCUP specifications, in which each hospitalization is reported on a single record.

The software expects that the DRG or ICD-9 code on any given discharge record is valid for the fiscal year of the discharge date. The software is designed to be backwards compatible with previous fiscal year versions. The AHRQ QI software is intended to be used with data that cover an entire patient population (e.g., all discharges from a hospital in a year) or that were sampled from a patient population using simple random sample.

The software only accepts three common data formats: Text (comma separated values), Microsoft Access®, and Microsoft Excel®. Two key formatting issues are that each row of data represents a separate discharge record and each column of data represents a single variable for all discharges.

The support email address for the AHRQ Quality Indicators is QIsupport@ahrq.hhs.gov.

The AHRQ Quality Indicators support team can also be reached by phone in the USA at (301) 427-1949. Messages are responded to within three business days.

For information on preparing for surgery, go to the Getting Ready for Your Ambulatory Surgery brochure.

The "10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor" are on the AHRQ website at https://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/index.html.

AHRQ provides impact case studies for online access. These highlight how research and resources result in changes in clinical practice, policy, and patient outcomes or the way that evidence-based tools and findings are disseminated and implemented in the health care system. You can search the available case studies in the Impact Case Studies database.

AHRQ is interested in feedback from the private and public sectors on how our research and products impact organizations, service delivery, and quality of care. If you are willing to provide feedback on your experience with examples of use for inclusion as a featured case study, please contact the Agency at: casestudies@ahrq.hhs.gov.

AHRQ provides free continuing education events in the areas of comparative effectiveness, quality and patient safety, and prevention/care management. For more information, visit the Continuing Education page.

Information for clinicians and consumers on how to quit smoking is available for free from AHRQ and other Federal resources. Visit AHRQ's page for Tobacco Users or go to Smokefree.gov.

No. The formula is used for award calculation purposes only. Funds are awarded in a lump sum and grantees are free to expend these as best for their actual needs.

There is no limit on indirect costs, per se. Rather, indirect costs are limited to those prescribed in the applicant's Federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. An applicant has the option of waiving all or a portion of its indirect costs if it so desires.

You can be apprised of new grant opportunities from our Agency in the following ways:



Ask a question, report a problem, or give us your opinion about a specific AHRQ program.