May 21, 2010
AHRQ News and Numbers
The proportion of women age 65 and over on Medicare who said that they had been screened for osteoporosis increased from 34 percent in 2001 to 64 percent in 2006. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report.]
- Annual quality and disparities reports include data on rates of patient safety, obesity and health insurance improved
- AHRQ study shows using bar-code technology with eMAR reduces medication administration and transcription errors
- New study details high rates of rehospitalizations and emergency pain treatment of sickle cell disease
- Evidence report on prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline
- AHRQ's 2010 Annual Conference: Better Care, Better Health: Delivering on Quality for All Americans set for September 26-29
- AHRQ issues funding opportunity announcement for pediatric healthcare quality measures program centers of excellence
- White Paper on Quality Indicators use of present on admission (POA) data available
- AHRQ health literacy universal precautions toolkit available
- AHRQ offers free guides to consumers and clinicians on breast cancer
- AHRQ in the professional literature
1. Annual Quality and Disparities Reports Include Data on Rates of Patient Safety, Obesity and Health Insurance Improved
Improvements in patient safety continue to lag, according to AHRQ's 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2009 reports include a new section on lifestyle modifications, because preventing or reducing obesity is a crucial goal for many Americans and an important task for health care providers. The reports indicate that the lack of health insurance slows improvement in health care quality and reduction of disparities. For many services, not having insurance is the single strongest predictor of poor quality care, exceeding the effects of race, ethnicity, income or education. Select to read our press release.
The Quality and Disparities Reports are available online. Print copies are available by sending an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. AHRQ Study Shows Using Bar-Code Technology with eMAR Reduces Medication Administration and Transcription Errors
Using bar-code technology with an electronic medication administration record (eMAR) substantially reduces transcription and medication administration errors, as well as potential drug-related adverse events according to a new AHRQ-funded study. Bar-code eMAR is a combination of technologies that ensures that the correct medication is administered in the correct dose at the correct time to the correct patient. When nurses use this combination of technologies, medication orders appear electronically in a patient's chart after pharmacist approval. Alerts are sent to nurses electronically if a patient's medication is overdue. Before administering medication, nurses are required to scan the bar codes on the patient's wristband and then on the medication. If the two don't match the approved medication order, or it is not time for the patient's next dose, a warning is issued. The study is published in the May 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Select to read our press release and select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
3. New Study Details High Rates of Rehospitalizations and Emergency Pain Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
The largest study to date of the use of acute care medical services by people with sickle cell disease found four of every 10 had to return to the hospital within 30 days of a previous hospitalization or go to the emergency department for treatment of pain, according to a new AHRQ-funded study. The study, "Acute Care Utilization and Rehospitalization for Sickle Cell Disease," conducted by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Children's Research Institute at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, both in Milwaukee, and AHRQ, was published in the April 7 issue of JAMA. Select to read our press release and select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
4. New Evidence Report on Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline
AHRQ has released a new evidence report that concluded there is currently insufficient evidence to identify which factors or interventions may increase or decrease the risks of developing Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive declines. Researchers, led by John W. Williams, M.D., at AHRQ's Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center, reviewed 25 systematic reviews and 250 primary research studies for the April 26-28 National Institutes of Health's Office of Medical Applications and Research State-of-the-Science Conference on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. Some studies suggest that diabetes, certain alleles of the apoliproprotein E gene, smoking, and depression increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. Other studies, meanwhile, suggest cognitive engagement and physical activity decrease risks. With the exception of the apolipoprotein E gene, however, evidence supporting these findings tended to be weak; the degree to which these factors modified risk was typically small to moderate for Alzheimer's disease and small for cognitive decline. Select to access the report, Preventing Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline.
5. AHRQ's 2010 Annual Conference: Better Care, Better Health: Delivering on Quality for All Americans Set for September 26-29
AHRQ's fourth annual conference is scheduled for September 27-29, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, MD. Leading authorities in health care research and policy will hold sessions on transforming health care delivery; developing new patient care models; strengthening preventive care and reducing health disparities; improving quality and patient safety; and measuring and reporting on provider and system performance.
6. AHRQ Issues Funding Opportunity Announcement for Pediatric Healthcare Quality Measures Program Centers of Excellence
AHRQ issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to implement the Pediatric Quality Measures Program, which is part of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009. As required by CHIPRA, measures developed under this program will be considered for the improved core measure set available for public and private purchasers, programs and providers by January 1, 2013. AHRQ anticipates making seven to nine awards that total $55 million over a 4-year period. AHRQ staff will host a technical assistance conference call regarding this FOA on May 25 at 11.00 a.m. EST to provide background information and answer questions. To register, send an E-mail request to CHIPRAqualitymeasures@ahrq.hhs.gov by May 20, 2010.
Prior to the call, applicants may submit up to five questions with your name and the name of your institution to CHIPRAqualitymeasures@ahrq.hhs.gov. Visit to access the FOA. Deadline for applications is June 30.
7. White Paper on Quality Indicators use of Present on Admission (POA) Data Available
AHRQ's Quality Indicators released a White Paper on the use of Present on Admission (POA) data. The paper, "Estimating Risk-Adjustment Models Incorporating Data on Present on Admission," is available on AHRQ's Web site. (PDF File), (Plugin Software Help)
8. AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit Available
AHRQ has released the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. The toolkit is based on the principles of universal precautions or specific actions that providers can take to make health information more understandable for all patients. It is designed to be used by all levels of staff in practices providing primary care for adults and/or children. The toolkit was developed for AHRQ by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Select to access the toolkit.
9. AHRQ Offers Free Guides to Consumers and Clinicians on Breast Cancer
AHRQ released a new consumer and clinician summary guides on breast biopsy. The clinician guide, Core-Needle Biopsy for Breast Abnormalities: Clinician's Guide (PDF File), (Plugin Software Help) summarizes the evidence on the accuracy and possible harms of various core-needle biopsy methods for diagnosing breast cancer. The consumer guide for women and their families, Having a Biopsy: A Guide for Women and Their Families (PDF File) , (Plugin Software Help) summarizes the different kinds of biopsies and what to expect if you have a breast biopsy. A Spanish-language translation of the consumer guide will be available soon. Print copies are available by sending an E-mail to email@example.com.
10. AHRQ in the Professional Literature
We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.
Zaydfudim V, Wright JK, Pinson CW. Liver transplantation for iatrogenic porta hepatis transection. Am Surg 2009 Apr; 75(4):313-16. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Solomon MD, Goldman DP, Joyce GF, et al. Cost sharing and the initiation of drug therapy for the chronically ill. Arch Intern Med 2009 Apr 27; 169(8):740-8; discussion 748-9. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Coleman LA, Kottke TE, Rank B, et al. Partnering care delivery and research to optimize health. Clin Med Res 2008 Dec; 6(3-4):113-18. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Bayliss EA, Ellis JL, Steiner JF. Seniors' self-reported multimorbidity captured biopsychosocial factors not incorporated into two other data-based morbidity measures. J Clin Epidemiol 2009 May; 62(5):550-557.e1. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Dormuth CR, Neumann P, Maclure M, et al. Effects of prescription coinsurance and income-based deductibles on net health plan spending for older users of inhaled medications. Med Care 2009 May; 47(5):508-16. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Kennedy KM, Raz N. Aging white matter and cognition: differential effects of regional variations in diffusion properties on memory, executive functions, and speed. Neuropsychologia 2009 Feb; 47(3):916-27. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
Dalal PG, Murray D, Messner AH, et al. Pediatric laryngeal dimensions: an age-based analysis. Anesth Analg 2009 May; 108(5):1475-9. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®
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Current as of May 2010
AHRQ Electronic Newsletter, May 21, 2010, Issue #289. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/enews/enews289.htm