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ACTS 2019 Roadmap

 What Was Done to Develop the Roadmap Draft

While there are many initiatives focused on enhancing parts of the knowledge ecosystem (see Figure 8. Sampling of Non-AHRQ Initiatives Addressing the Knowledge Ecosystem With Which Roadmap Execution Coordinates), there currently isn’t an entity responsible for delivering the high-functioning ecosystem outlined in Figure 7. LHS Functions That the Knowledge Ecosystem Supports. To achieve AHRQ’s goals for ACTS, a placeholder for such an entity needed to be created to gather and integrate the many perspectives essential to delivering the desired knowledge ecosystem. The urgency and need for this approach were reinforced by the many diverse stakeholders that were drawn to participate in the ACTS Initiative to ensure that their efforts, like AHRQ’s, could become more integrated and synergistic with other knowledge ecosystem enhancement efforts upon which their ultimate success depends.

The ACTS project team (see Acknowledgements) convened a broad Stakeholder Community (n=294) [1] [2] to develop a shared future vision for a knowledge ecosystem that fosters LHSs and broad realization of the Quintuple Aim and define actions by participating stakeholders and others to achieve this vision. See the ACTS Stakeholder Community website (52) for the current member list. The project team held the Stakeholder Community kickoff meeting in January 2019 (53) and subsequently formed Stakeholder Community workgroups to lay foundations for this Roadmap report (see Figure 12. ACTS Stakeholder Community Workgroups). The first three workgroups focused on creating the following Roadmap appendices, which inform and elaborate upon the content of this report:


Note: The Roadmap was developed in 2019; currently, implementation efforts are underway.

Where you see this icon (), the information is original to the 2019 version of the Roadmap.

  • Future Vision Workgroup (n=29): Defined the details for four future vision perspectives (care delivery, care transformation, resource developer, national LHS) and broadly vetted[3] core concepts (see the Consensus Future Vision for Evidence-Informed, Health IT‑Enabled Care Delivery & Transformation section and Appendix B, Future Vision)
  • Infrastructure Workgroup (n=20): Analyzed the standards landscape and proposed a plan to make resources more interoperable and reusable by leveraging and enhancing these standards (see Appendix C, Infrastructure)
  • Marketplace Workgroup (n=25): Proposed a plan for resource marketplace(s) to better connect those who supply care delivery and transformation resources to those who need them (Appendix D, Marketplaces)

The Stakeholder Community met via 1-hour teleconference every other week through October 2019 to discuss stakeholder activities, provide input to Roadmap components, and give feedback on emerging deliverable materials. The three workgroups above likewise met regularly (typically weekly) by teleconference during summer and fall of 2019, with staff support and oversight from the ACTS Project Team. Stakeholder Community and workgroup members also provided input outside teleconferences via edits and comments on online draft documents. In addition to Stakeholder Community and Workgroup meetings, the project team also had many teleconferences and face-to-face meetings with experts and other stakeholders from the Stakeholder Community and beyond to inform the Roadmap.

Figure 12. ACTS Stakeholder Community Workgroups

During the summer of 2019, the AMIA (54) and the ACTS project team formed a Roadmap Workgroup (n=179) that brought together diverse organizations and perspectives to define a stakeholder-driven roadmap to achieve the future vision, building on the deliverables from the first three workgroups. This workgroup produced a presentation that described key actions to achieve the future vision:

  • Developing mechanisms for ongoing collaboration to execute Roadmap recommendations
  • Supporting pilots to make AHRQ and other offerings more FAIR through next-generation portals and marketplaces
  • Enhancing and leveraging standards to make knowledge more interoperable throughout the ecosystem cycle
  • Identifying best practice tools, resources, and care transformation strategies and fostering their routine use
  • And fostering policies, incentives, and research to drive care transformation through LHSs

In the fall of 2019, several Roadmap Workgroup members delivered this presentation to their organizations and constituencies for consideration and possible action (see Table 1. Roadmap Workgroup Members Who Planned to Deliver Roadmap Presentations to Their Organizations). Many organizations whose staff participated in Roadmap development have already provided support letters indicating plans to align their efforts and investments with Roadmap execution, and many more such support letters are expected. See Appendix G, ACTS Support Letters for these letters.

During the fall and winter of 2019–2020, the Roadmap Workgroup and ACTS project team were in the process incorporating feedback received during the presentations into the Roadmap draft. Central to this work were the explorations into a draft portfolio of potential pilots to begin executing the Roadmap’s recommendations and driving progress toward the future vision.

Below is an overview diagram of the approach outlined in the Roadmap, followed by a table with more details about each of the 4 phases.

Roadmap Overview

Critical Activities Addressed Throughout Each Roadmap Phase

Each phase includes tasks organized around five critical activities:

Roadmap is under review by AHRQ leadership. No funding to execute any Roadmap tasks has been approved.  Dates shown below are rough estimates and TBD.

*RESC = Roadmap Execution Steering Committee; CC = Coordinating Center; PPP = Public Private Partnership; DKP = Digital Knowledge Platform

When the COVID‑19 pandemic began to surge in early 2020, the weekly Roadmap Workgroup call agendas and related work pivoted to help workgroup participants cope with the crisis in ways that would advance the pandemic response for members and beyond while also driving progress toward the ACTS Future Vision. In March 2020, AHRQ approved launching the ACTS COVID‑19 Evidence to Guidance to Action Collaborative (55) to enhance the COVID‑19 knowledge ecosystem cycle in the near-term for stakeholders from diverse groups (e.g., CDOs, Government agencies (including AHRQ staff), evidence and guidance producers, health IT vendors, and many others) who were already collaborating to develop the ACTS Roadmap. The Collaborative’s membership was seeded by the ACTS Roadmap Workgroup and has grown substantially since its inception (see Acknowledgements for the combined Roadmap Workgroup and ACTS COVID Collaborative roster).

To aid the pandemic response and advance progress toward the future vision, AHRQ’s ACTS COVID‑19 Evidence to Guidance to Action Collaborative/Learning Community (55) cultivates enhanced information flow around the ecosystem cycle for COVID‑19 in the near-term and advances efforts to make the cycle more computable and effective in the longer term. See Figure 13. Enhanced Knowledge Ecosystem Flow Being Cultivated by ACTS COVID Collaborative Participants for a sampling of current activities and those driving this work.

Figure 13. Enhanced Knowledge Ecosystem Flow Being Cultivated by ACTS COVID Collaborative Participants[4]

This ACTS COVID‑19 Evidence to Guidance to Action Collaborative serves as one of three AHRQ-supported ACTS Roadmap pilots. The other two are the Evidence/Guidance Computability Tools Requirements Pilot, and the VCU-led Patient-driven Care Plan Tool Refinement and Implementation Pilot. See Appendix E, AHRQ-Funded ACTS Pilots for details about the three pilots and their contributions to Roadmap execution.

It is noteworthy that this Roadmap builds on a separate but related AHRQ-supported initiative that produced a stakeholder-driven Opioid Action Plan (OAP) (56). This predecessor project followed a similar approach to defining a shared future vision and stakeholder-identified actions that the different groups could take to advance their business objectives in ways that simultaneously executed that action plan. Pages 35–37 in the OAP present dozens of examples where stakeholders began taking action to advance their business goals in ways that also seeded OAP recommendation implementation. These actions were fostered by the compelling consensus future vision and began while the action plan recommendations were still being finalized before publication. As with this Roadmap, the OAP goal was not for an expert panel to direct the actions of others, but rather to bring together what individual stakeholders contribute—as byproduct of addressing their business imperatives—into a whole greater than the sum of what would otherwise be siloed and fragmented parts much less likely to realize the desired, shared future vision. The support letters received before this ACTS Roadmap was formally published further validate this stakeholder-driven approach to healthcare transformation (Appendix G, ACTS Support Letters).

Table 1. Roadmap Workgroup Members Who Planned to Deliver Roadmap Presentations to Their Organizations

Federal Agencies (6)

CDOs (14)

Health IT Vendors (10)

Specialty Societies, Associations, Accreditors (5)

Standards, Payers, Guidelines, Others (11)


Collaborative Ventures Network / Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers


American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

Island Peer Review Organization, Inc. (IPRO)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) (NIDDK)

RWJBarnabas Rutgers Health

Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO)

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

Patient-Centered CDS Learning Network (PCCDS-LN)


University of Chicago


American Hospital Association

Logica Health, Health Services Platform Consortium (HSPC)

Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

University of Connecticut

Cognitive Medical Systems

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

Health Information Alliance (HIA), Inc. / Connecticut (CT) Health Information Exchange (HIE) Agency


University of Texas (UT) Southwestern

Healthwise, Inc.

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Health Level Seven International (HL7)

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Intermountain Healthcare


Object Management Group (OMG) / Business Process Management for Healthcare (BPM+ Health)

Ochsner Health System


Mobilizing Computable Biomedical Knowledge (MCBK) Steering Committee

Northwestern Medicine

Wolters Kluwer

Blue Cross Blue Shield CA

City of Hope National Medical Center


Blue Cross Blue Shield MN

Four Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network (ACORN) practices: VCU Health System Practices, Fairfax Family Practice Centers, Tidewater Physicians Group, Carilion Health System Practices


Cochrane U.S. Network

Hennepin Healthcare

Guidelines International Network (GIN) North America (NA) / Chicago Metro

[1] Participation does not imply organizational endorsement. Participants have been engaged to varying degrees.

[2] Workgroup names link to the participant listing; n= number of workgroup members. The Stakeholder Community and workgroups have continued to expand since their inception and the numbers reflect status as of December 2020.

[3] Stakeholder community members from VCU, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and Health Hats held vetting sessions, collecting feedback from clinical practices in Virginia, health centers in various states, and patients (through online forums). See Care Delivery Future Vision Vetting for details.

[4] See Appendix H, Acronyms & Abbreviations for definitions.

Intended Roadmap Use

Roadmap is under review by AHRQ leadership. No funding to execute any Roadmap tasks has been approved.  Dates for phases shown above are rough estimates and TBD

Earlier versions of this Roadmap have been shared with AHRQ leadership and several other stakeholders, and next steps are under consideration. The Roadmap requests substantial investments from AHRQ and other Federal partners to produce specific deliverables and other results over the next decade. Funding sources for these investments have not yet been identified, though the compelling future vision and stakeholder engagement that the Roadmap has produced so far are intended as enablers to make that happen. Likewise, for the substantial non-Federal investments the Roadmap seeks to leverage in fully achieving the desired transformation to the knowledge-ecosystem-enabled LHS and Quintuple Aim realization. This Roadmap overview is being shared broadly so that all public and private stakeholders will have an opportunity to review the proposed goals, activities, and deliverables, and consider how these could help them achieve their missions and objectives through the proposed collaborative efforts.
Initial work from ACTS Pilot efforts has begun building collaborations and developing requirements, tools, implementations, and evaluations for greater knowledge ecosystem computability/interoperability and other enhancements. These pilot efforts build on substantial engagement by many stakeholders from diverse groups (52) that helped develop the Roadmap. Pilot efforts have been amplified by the many stakeholder organizations that already have indicated their intention to align their investments and activities with Roadmap execution as indicated in numerous support letters. Also, related AHRQ investments (e.g., PCORTF dissemination and implementation initiatives (40) and other related enhancements to AHRQ offerings such as CDS Connect, CEDAR, SRDR+, and others will advance Roadmap execution. The Roadmap may serve as a template for stakeholders to use in enhancing their knowledge ecosystem enhancement planning and execution efforts in ways that promote valuable synergies with those of other interdependent stakeholders. These synergies can help each organization advance their business goals (e.g., related better products and services for their customers, less effort duplication, greater workforce efficiency) while also accelerating progress toward shared public health and care transformation goals.
A critical enabler for realizing these benefits may be an initial commitment by some public and/or private entity(ies) to form and support a Roadmap Execution Steering Committee to provide momentum in establishing and developing the initial shared future vision described in the Roadmap. Obstacles to broadly realizing LHSs and the Quintuple Aim are great, and painfully slow progress may likely continue without such a mechanism for coordinating and accelerating efforts.
This Roadmap provides information to consider about:

  • How the future vision supports – and is supported by – their objectives and activities
  • Whether collaboration with others on proposed Roadmap execution activities (including possibly supporting Roadmap Execution Steering Committee formation) could accelerate progress toward their goals
  • Opportunities to cultivate synergies between their current and planned activities and investments within the healthcare knowledge ecosystem and those of others working toward the future vision

By working together to realize this Roadmap's future vision and create a knowledge ecosystem that fully enables a virtuous LHS cycle and the Quintuple Aim, long sought transformations in healthcare and public health may become more possible.