Studying COVID Healthcare Delivery

AHRQ within HHS has announced 26 research grants designed to explore essential questions concerning the delivery of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants are also intended to leverage innovations in digital healthcare research and study the ways that healthcare delivery has been reshaped by the pandemic.

The research will focus on the increased use of telehealth in rural care settings, emergency management in hospitals, address critical barriers to effective pandemic response in hospitals caring for vulnerable populations, and improve clinician and patient safety.

The funding has been awarded in two categories. Approximately $500,000 will be awarded for 14 new projects to study the healthcare system’s COVID-19 response in four areas to include:

  • Improving the quality of care and patient outcomes
  • Improving patient safety
  • Understanding the pandemic’s impact on socially vulnerable populations and people with multiple chronic conditions
  • Understanding how digital health innovations such as telehealth contribute to the health systems’ response to COVID-19


One research project awarded to Amy Barton at the University of Colorado, Denver for $491,293, will study the impact of the sudden shift to telehealth due to COVID-19 within Nurse-led care models with patients located in Colorado’s rural and urban communities.

Another research project award to Kit N Simpson at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC for $499,961 will develop a Telehealth and Informatics Infrastructure to create a continuum of services for COVID-19 screening, testing, and treatment.

The research will be conducted in numerous healthcare environments, including hospitals, primary care and other ambulatory care settings, pre-hospital care, long term and nursing home care, home health care, safety net hospitals, mental health and substance use care, pharmacy, and transitions of care between settings.

The second category will provide supplemental funding ranging from $27,000 to $2.3 million to be awarded to 12 ongoing research projects with all projects refocusing on COVID-19 topics.  AHRQ’s total research investment will be up to $17 million.


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