September 9, 2010
AHRQ News and Numbers
Oregon and Vermont reported the nation's lowest rates of avoidable hospitalizations for asthma in children ages 2 to 17 in 2006. Oregon reported the lowest rate of potentially avoidable hospitalizations, at 44 per 100,000 children. Vermont followed closely, with 46 admissions of children with asthma. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2009 State Snapshots.]
- AHRQ releases new Spanish-language guides for patients
- Study recommends disclosure of medical mistakes that affect multiple patients
- AHRQ's effective health care program Web conference cet for October 12
- Solicitation of nominations for USPSTF members
- AHRQ's HCUP offers two courses in online tutorial series
- AHRQ launches new look for NGC and NQMC Web sites
- Highlights from our most recent monthly newsletter
- AHRQ in the professional literature
1. AHRQ Releases New Spanish-Language Guides for Patients
AHRQ released a series of free evidence-based guides designed to help Spanish speakers understand and compare the risks, benefits and side effects of treatments for eight health conditions. The guides provide valuable information that patients can use in talking with their clinicians. Half of the topics cover health issues specifically for women, including guides on controlling gestational diabetes during pregnancy, deciding to induce labor and comparing core needle biopsy to surgical biopsy for breast lesions. Other guides cover treatments for high cholesterol, osteoarthritis of the knee and the use of insulin analogues for treating type 2 diabetes. Select to read our press release and select to access the new guides.
2. Study Recommends Disclosure of Medical Mistakes That Affect Multiple Patients
Health care organizations should disclose medical mistakes that affect multiple patients even if patients were not harmed by the event, according to an AHRQ-funded research paper published in the September 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Medical mistakes that affect multiple patients, known as large-scale adverse events to researchers, are incidents or series of related incidents that harm or could potentially harm multiple patients. These events, which can include incompletely sterilized surgical equipment, poor laboratory quality control and equipment malfunctions, are often identified after care has been provided and can affect thousands of patients. Select to read the press release.
3. AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web Conference Set for October 12
Register for AHRQ's Effective Health Care (EHC) Program free Web conference, "Integrating Comparative Effectiveness Research into Everyday Practice," for October 12 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., ET. Comparative effectiveness research has emerged as a critical element of health care improvement. It compares drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. AHRQ's EHC Program conducts comparative effectiveness research, producing research reviews, new research reports, and plain-language guides that summarize findings for clinicians, patients, and consumers, as well as other resources such as continuing education modules for providers. Select to register.
4. Solicitation of Nominations for USPSTF Members
AHRQ invites nominations of individuals qualified to serve as members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The Task Force, a standing, independent panel of non-Federal experts that makes evidence-based recommendations to the health care community and the public regarding clinical preventive services, is composed of 16 members appointed to serve staggered four-year terms. Select to access the August 30 Federal Register notice for complete information, including member duties and qualification requirements, and directions for submitting nominations. (PDF File) (Plugin Software Help)
5. AHRQ's HCUP Offers Two Courses in Online Tutorial Series
AHRQ announces the release of two new courses in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Online Tutorial Series. The "HCUP Load and Check" tutorial provides instructions on how to unzip HCUP data, save it on a computer, load the data into a standard statistical software package, and verify that the data have loaded correctly. The "Producing HCUP National Estimates" tutorial is designed to help users understand how the three nationwide databases the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, and Kids' Inpatient Database can be used to produce national and regional estimates.
6. AHRQ Launches New Look for NGC and NQMC Web Sites
AHRQ has updated and enhanced the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC). The sites now allow users to find information faster, identify the right measures or guidelines with ease, and intuitively search thousands of records. Both sites include a side-by-side comparison feature, enhanced semantic search engine and easier navigation. The NGC Web site is a publicly available repository of more than 2400 practice guidelines submitted by organizations and individuals worldwide. Researchers, clinicians and informatics experts routinely use the NGC site to find accepted guidelines that can be incorporated into practice. NQMC contains more than 1400 measures of health care quality covering seven domains of care: access, outcome, patient experience, population health, process, structure, use of services.
7. Highlights from Our Most Recent Monthly Newsletter
The September issue of Research Activities is available online. Key articles include:
- Primary care doctors prefer additional medical record information when making decisions about patient test results.
With increased demands on their time, primary care physicians often must make decisions about patient test results on the fly, without complete patient data. In fact, studies show that follow up of abnormal diagnostic test results is one of the most problematic safety issues in outpatient practice. A preliminary study shows that automatically adding information from a patient's electronic medical records can add to the usefulness of test results sent to the patient's primary care physicians. Nine surveyed primary care physicians found that enhanced laboratory reports—which include previous related test results, medication prescriptions, information from recent primary care visits, and computer-generated reminders related to the type of test done—were well organized and easy to interpret. The enhanced laboratory reports included a median of 11 additional report elements. The primary care physicians rated the elements an average of 3.2 to 4.3 on a 5-point Likert scale (from 1, least valuable, to 5, most valuable). In fact, the physicians preferred the enhanced laboratory reports to standard lab reports, giving the enhanced laboratory reports a rating of 3.8 points. Select to read this article.
Other articles include:
- Blacks with lung cancer have higher mortality rates than whites.
- Physicians report care barriers for young adults with childhood-onset chronic diseases.
- Some patients with bipolar disorder pray and meditate more than others.
- Measure of inappropriate prescribing predicts risk of adverse drug events in older adults.
Select to read these articles and others.
8. 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.
Likosky DS, Sorensen MJ, Dacey LJ, et al. Long-term survival of the very elderly undergoing aortic valve surgery. Circulation 2009 Sep 15; 120(11 Suppl):S127-33. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Ghaferi AA, Birkmeyer JD, Dimick JB. Variation in hospital mortality associated with inpatient surgery. N Engl J Med 2009 Oct 1; 361(14):1368-75. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Oreskovic NM, Kuhlthau KA, Romm D, et al. Built environment and weight disparities among children in high-and low-income towns. Acad Pediatr 2009 Sep-Oct; 9(5):315-21. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Castaldi PJ, DeMeo DL, Kent DM, et al. Development of predictive models for airflow obstruction in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Am J Epidemiol 2009 Oct 15; 170(8):1005-13. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Bonomi AE, Anderson ML, Reid RJ, et al. Medical and psychosocial diagnoses in women with a history of intimate partner violence. Arch Intern Med 2009 Oct 12; 169(18):1692-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Kaissi AA, Parchman M. Organizational factors associated with self-management behaviors in diabetes primary care clinics. Diabetes Educ 2009 Sep-Oct; 35(5):843-50. [Supported by grant K08 HS13008-03.] Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
Tang JW, Freed B, Baker T, et al. Internal medicine residents' comfort with and frequency of providing dietary counseling to diabetic patients. J Gen Intern Med 2009 Oct; 24(10):1140-3. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
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Current as of September 2010
AHRQ Electronic Newsletter, September 9, 2010, Issue #293. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/enews/enews293.htm