May 26, 2022

Research Tools: AHRQ Releases First Public Database on Nation’s Health Systems

From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

Information about the size, structure and other characteristics of 626 health care organizations is included in AHRQ’s new Compendium of U.S. Health Systems, 2016, the nation’s first publicly available database that gives researchers, policymakers and health care administrators a snapshot of the nation’s health systems.

The online resource was developed by the agency’s Comparative Health System Performance (CHSP) Initiative, a collaborative to examine systems’ use of evidence-based medicine and explore factors that contribute to high performance.

The new compendium defines systems as networks of at least one hospital connected via ownership to one or more groups of physicians. Hospitals in these health systems account for roughly 88 percent of U.S. hospital beds and 92 percent of U.S. hospital discharges. The compendium identifies system characteristics such as the number of hospitals, acute care beds and physicians, as well as whether a system serves children.

From an Introductory Blog Post:

The CHSP Initiative is a collaboration among researchers at Dartmouth College, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and RAND to examine systems’ use of evidence-based medicine and explore factors that contribute to high performance. Mathematica Policy Research is supporting coordination of the initiative.

The compendium will evolve over time. It currently provides a 2016 list of health systems developed with data from sources that cover the entire U.S.: the American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database, 2015; QuintilesIMS™ Healthcare Organization Services (OneKey Organizations [HCOS]), 2016; and the SK&A Healthcare Databases, 2016.

Direct to Compendium of U.S. Health Systems, 2016
Downloadable Database, Reports, Infographics

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.