News Release

September 18, 2012


Holly Auer

Perelman School of Medicine

This release is available online at

Penn Medicine Partners with ECRI to Win Evidence-Based Practice Center Designation from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Center for Evidence-based Practice, in partnership with the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching approaches to improve patient care, has been selected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as one of its 11 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs).

This new EPC designation will allow ECRI Institute and Penn Medicine clinicians and researchers to bid for projects through AHRQ to review and synthesize literature on preventive, therapeutic and diagnostic interventions to assess which are most beneficial to patients. The work informs clinical practice guidelines for physicians and educational materials for patients, as well as health-care-related decisions by the federal government, states, and national medical societies, such as those related to the development of new measures of clinical effectiveness and quality.

“We are extremely excited to partner with ECRI on the synthesis of those research findings most important to our patients’ health,” says Craig A. Umscheid, MD, MS, a hospitalist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, director of the Penn Medicine Center for Evidence-based Practice, and Senior Associate Director of the newly formed ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine EPC. “ECRI’s objectivity and methodologic soundness set the standard for the field of research synthesis.  Combined with the breadth and depth of our faculty’s clinical and research expertise, and our Center’s local experience in supporting patient care through research synthesis and dissemination, we’ll be positioned to make a real difference.”

There are no specific dollar amounts that are guaranteed from winning this designation, but the designation itself allows the ECRI-Penn EPC as well as the  other 10 AHRQ EPCs to compete for up to $50 million worth of contracts from AHRQ in the next five years.

“We are pleased and honored to hold the trust of AHRQ and the healthcare system more broadly in advancing the science of systematic review to assess the effectiveness of healthcare interventions and practices based on outcomes that matter to patients,” says Karen Schoelles, MD, SM, director of the ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine EPC.