United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: An agency of the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE established in 1990 to "provide indexing, abstracting, translating, publishing, and other services leading to a more effective and timely dissemination of information on research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care to public and private entities and individuals engaged in the improvement of health care delivery..." It supersedes the National Center for Health Services Research. The United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research was renamed Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999.United States Agency for International Development: An independent Federal agency established in 1961 as the focal point for economic matters affecting U.S. relations with developing countries.State Government: The level of governmental organization and function below that of the national or country-wide government.Health Planning Councils: Organized groups serving in advisory capacities related to health planning activities.Government Agencies: Administrative units of government responsible for policy making and management of governmental activities.United StatesSafety Management: The development of systems to prevent accidents, injuries, and other adverse occurrences in an institutional setting. The concept includes prevention or reduction of adverse events or incidents involving employees, patients, or facilities. Examples include plans to reduce injuries from falls or plans for fire safety to promote a safe institutional environment.Medical Errors: Errors or mistakes committed by health professionals which result in harm to the patient. They include errors in diagnosis (DIAGNOSTIC ERRORS), errors in the administration of drugs and other medications (MEDICATION ERRORS), errors in the performance of surgical procedures, in the use of other types of therapy, in the use of equipment, and in the interpretation of laboratory findings. Medical errors are differentiated from MALPRACTICE in that the former are regarded as honest mistakes or accidents while the latter is the result of negligence, reprehensible ignorance, or criminal intent.Health Services Research: The integration of epidemiologic, sociological, economic, and other analytic sciences in the study of health services. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services. The aim of the research is evaluation, particularly in terms of structure, process, output, and outcome. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Quality Assurance, Health Care: Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.Comparative Effectiveness Research: Conduct and synthesis of systematic research comparing interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions. The purpose of this research is to inform patients, providers, and decision-makers, responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances. (hhs.gov/recovery/programs/cer/draftdefinition.html accessed 6/12/2009)Quality Indicators, Health Care: Norms, criteria, standards, and other direct qualitative and quantitative measures used in determining the quality of health care.Patient Safety: Efforts to reduce risk, to address and reduce incidents and accidents that may negatively impact healthcare consumers.Quality of Life: A generic concept reflecting concern with the modification and enhancement of life attributes, e.g., physical, political, moral and social environment; the overall condition of a human life.Total Quality Management: The application of industrial management practice to systematically maintain and improve organization-wide performance. Effectiveness and success are determined and assessed by quantitative quality measures.Organizational Culture: Beliefs and values shared by all members of the organization. These shared values, which are subject to change, are reflected in the day to day management of the organization.Evidence-Based Medicine: An approach of practicing medicine with the goal to improve and evaluate patient care. It requires the judicious integration of best research evidence with the patient's values to make decisions about medical care. This method is to help physicians make proper diagnosis, devise best testing plan, choose best treatment and methods of disease prevention, as well as develop guidelines for large groups of patients with the same disease. (from JAMA 296 (9), 2006)Research: Critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical application of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws. (Webster, 3d ed)Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care): Evaluation procedures that focus on both the outcome or status (OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT) of the patient at the end of an episode of care - presence of symptoms, level of activity, and mortality; and the process (ASSESSMENT, PROCESS) - what is done for the patient diagnostically and therapeutically.Hospitalization: The confinement of a patient in a hospital.Hospitals: Institutions with an organized medical staff which provide medical care to patients.Quality of Health Care: The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.Injections, Spinal: Introduction of therapeutic agents into the spinal region using a needle and syringe.Outcome Assessment (Health Care): Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).Quality Control: A system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or process by careful planning, use of proper equipment, continued inspection, and corrective action as required. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Patient Discharge: The administrative process of discharging the patient, alive or dead, from hospitals or other health facilities.Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Low Back Pain: Acute or chronic pain in the lumbar or sacral regions, which may be associated with musculo-ligamentous SPRAINS AND STRAINS; INTERVERTEBRAL DISK DISPLACEMENT; and other conditions.Home Care Agencies: Public or private organizations that provide, either directly or through arrangements with other organizations, home health services in the patient's home. (Hospital Administration Terminology, 2d ed)Research Design: A plan for collecting and utilizing data so that desired information can be obtained with sufficient precision or so that an hypothesis can be tested properly.Research Support as Topic: Financial support of research activities.Delivery of Health Care: The concept concerned with all aspects of providing and distributing health services to a patient population.Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.