SMART Resources

Accessible Health Information Technology (IT) for Populations with Limited Literacy: A Guide for Developers and Purchasers of Health IT

  • This guide and checklist are intended for developers and purchasers of health information (IT) that is designed to be accessed and used by consumers. This guide and checklist provide a structure, strategies, and other resources for the development of the technical standards and aspects of accessible health IT design.

AHRQ Informed Consent and Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research

  • The goal of this toolkit is to help make informed consent and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization for potential research subjects more meaningful. It is designed to help both researchers and IRBs ensure that potential subjects are well informed. The guidance provided here is consistent with the regulations for obtaining and documenting informed consent for participation in minimal risk research and authorization for use of protected health information as required under HIPAA. Highlights of the toolkit include: A model process for obtaining written consent and authorization; sample easy-to-read consent documents for informed consent and authorization: a certification tool to promote the quality of the consent process; links to resources from the Department of Health and Human Services.

AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology

  • The Health IT Bibliography is a collection of carefully selected, high quality resources for health care and information technology (IT) stakeholders searching for information on how health IT can transform care delivery processes and improve quality, safety, and efficiency


  • The Partnership for Clear Health Communication is a coalition of national organizations that are working together to promote awareness and solutions around the issue of low health literacy and its effect on health outcomes. This website helps consumers and providers learn how to communicate effectively with each other, address the problem of health literacy, and provide a solution to end health literacy.

Common Data Elements

Community Tool Box

  • The Community Tool Box is a resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance in creating change and improvement. 

Designing and Implementing Medicaid Disease and Care Management Programs: A User's Guide

  • The Guide is designed to be a resource for decision makers involved with designing and implementing care management programs. These decision makers may include care management program directors, Medicaid Medical Directors, program evaluators, program analysts, Governor's office staff, or State legislative staff. Each section of the Guide can be used independently, allowing interested audiences to focus on specific development and implementation activities individually. However, each topic may include references to related sections that can provide context or illustrate examples. In addition, the Guide strives to incorporate as many State examples, lessons learned, and checklists as possible.
    • The Guide is organized to address five stages of care management program development, supplemented by three key topics that should be considered at every development stage. These topics span all stages of development and are crucial for program success and continuation.

Diabetes Education for Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Their Families

  • A systematic and comprehensive literature review of electronic databases of medical and health education literature to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies evaluating the effectiveness of diabetes education.

Group Health Center for Health Studies- The PRISM Readability Toolkit

  • Project to Review and Improve Study Materials (PRISM) is a Group Health Center for Health Studies initiative to improve the readability of print materials used in communication with study participants. The PRISM Readability Toolkit is a comprehensive resource that provides research teams with tools to help support the creation of study materials that can be easily read by the average participant.

Health Literacy Tool Kit

  • Current Bibliographies in Medicine- Understanding Health Literacy and Its Barriers

Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC)

  • The Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC) is an Internet resource for healthcare professionals. It has been developed through the combined efforts of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Academy for Post Graduate Medical Care Education and the Case Western Reserve University Division of Information Technology Services, with a great deal of support from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Its purpose is to support a wide variety of efforts on the part of healthcare professionals to make systematic improvements in the quality of the healthcare they provide to their patients. 

HRET Disparities Tool Kit

  • The Toolkit is a Web-based tool that provides hospitals, health systems, clinics, and health plans information and resources for systematically collecting race, ethnicity, and primary language data from patients.

Institute for Family-Centered Care -Publications/Guides

  • “Partnering with Patients and Families to Design a Patient and Family-Centered Health Care System Recommendations and Promising Practices” 

“Advancing the Practice of Patient- and Family-Centered Care: How to Get Started”
“Partnering with Patients and Families to Design a Patient- and Family-Centered Health Care System: A Roadmap for the Future”

Monitoring and Evaluating Medicaid Fee-for-Service Care Management Programs User’s Guide

  • A user's guide to help policy makers and other understand the evidence, methodology, and issues relating to evaluating the costs, quality and impact of care management programs

New Health Partnerships

  • New Health Partnerships provides resources to patients, members of healthcare provider teams and family members, as well as to the general public, at no or low cost, to help them take effective action to improve health care, and most especially in the area of collaborative self-management within the context of chronic care.

Patient Self-Management Support Programs: An Evaluation

  • The purpose of this report is to present a number of key considerations for developers and purchasers of programs to take into account when deciding on program components. Examines the current state of patient self-management support programs, including what is known about the programs and what remains unknown. Reviews relevant research literature and interviewed individuals who have knowledge of self-management support programs.

Practical Solutions for Effective Translated Health Information

  • A resource developed by Hablamos Juntos with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This toolkit clarifies the translation process and provides a road map to help health care organizations improve the quality of their translated materials in order to get better results.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: A Chart Book
The goal of this chart book is to create an easily accessible resource that can help policy makers, teachers, researchers, and practitioners begin to understand disparities in their communities and to formulate solutions. The chart book is divided into the following chapters:

  1. The Demographics of America: Highlights the changes in the United States' population. It presents information on the population by race/ethnicity, income, and language.
  2. Disparities in Health Status and Mortality: Addresses disparities in a number of the focus areas of the Healthy People 2010 Initiative.
  3. Disparities in Access to Health Care: Offers a picture of the challenges minority Americans face in receiving needed health care. This chapter includes information on access to primary care, as well as more specialized services.
  4. Disparities in Coverage: Provides a snapshot of why insurance coverage varies by race and ethnicity.
  5. Disparities in Quality: Documents that racial and ethnic disparities exist across all the domains of quality articulated by the Institute of Medicine.
  6. Strategies for Closing the Gap: Includes a sample of the modest but growing body of knowledge on strategies that may lessen or eliminate disparities in health and health care. 

Rhode Island Health Literacy Project

  • The toolkit will give providers information, tips for communicating, and plain language materials on a variety of topics, which they can give to their patients.

Toolkit for Implementing the Chronic Care Model in an Academic Environment

  • This toolkit provides materials that explain the concepts, change strategies, tools, and resources to teach residents and improve care for patients with chronic illness in an academic setting. It will assist academic healthcare environments in implementing the Chronic Care Model approach.
    • Depending on one's knowledge of the Chronic Care Model, the site can be easily navigated to advance an organization's progress. The lessons learned by the organizations involved in the Academic Chronic Care Collaborative provide a guide to others implementing the model. Adapting and replicating their best practices saves time and reduces the cost of implementation.  

Tracking the Care of Patients with Severe Chronic Illness - The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care 2010

  • This edition of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care describes how care for Medicare beneficiaries with serious chronic illness varies across U.S. states, regions and hospitals. The focus is on Medicare beneficiaries who have severe chronic illnesses and are in their last two years of life. The 2010 edition both updates earlier analyses to encompass more recent data and expands the scope to include all sectors of care covered by the Medicare program: acute inpatient hospital care, outpatient services, skilled nursing and long-term hospital care, home health care and hospice.