Navigating the Health Care System

(Advice from former AHRQ Director Dr. Clancy)


Datesort ascending Title
Not Just the Baby Blues: Screening Can Help Address Postpartum Depression
If you know someone who's expecting a baby this summer, you have plenty of company. More babies are born in July, August, and September than in any other months of the year, according to 2010 Federal... Read more
Hopeful Signs on a Long Road to a Better Health System
If you've ever thought that your experience with the health care system–good or bad–is very different from someone else's, you're not alone. A new set of reports from the... Read more
Health Law at Three Years Highlights Coverage, Cost, and Quality Improvements
When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law 3 years ago, many Americans paid attention to popular features like letting young adults stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 or... Read more
New Primary Care Focus Helps Patients Take Better Care of Themselves
Starting new behaviors to improve our health can be a challenge. Too often, our health care system doesn't help us learn the skills we need to stay healthy. Take the example of Alex, a 60-year-... Read more
New Tools Help Health Providers Reduce Patients' Risk of Falls
For older adults, falls are serious, whether they take place in the home or in a health care setting. More than one-third of adults over age 65 fall each year. Falls can cause bone fractures,... Read more
Make Good on Your Resolution To Quit Smoking
For people who smoke cigarettes, the New Year is a popular time to try to quit. And it's no wonder why. Tobacco use kills about 443,000 people in the United States each year or about 1 in 5... Read more
Resources to Help You Stay Healthy in the New Year
As the New Year gets closer, it's a good time to think about how to stay healthy in 2013. One important way to do that is by getting regular medical checkups.  Depending on your age and... Read more
Tool Helps Hospital Staff Improve Communications for Patients with Limited English Skills
If you're sick or need emergency care, being unable to communicate effectively can be a serious, even life-threatening, situation. Take the tragic case of Willie Ramirez, a healthy, Spanish-... Read more
Teamwork a Key Feature of Patient Safety Improvement Program
If you're a football fan like I am, you know that teams win or lose depending on teamwork. A good team may have a quarterback who can throw an accurate pass. But a great team also has players who can... Read more
Helping You Avoid Return Trips to the Hospital
If you or a loved one has ever been in the hospital for a serious condition, the last thing you want is a fast return trip. But that's what happens to 1 in 5 patients covered by Medicare, the... Read more
Get Up-to-Date on Shots Before Summer Ends
For many children, August marks the end of summer vacation and the return to school. For parents, it's a good time to make sure their children are up to date on vaccines—or shots—that... Read more
Revealing Medical Errors Helps Chicago Hospitals Build a Safer Health System 2012
A preventable medical error happened when Michelle Malizzo Ballog had surgery in 2008. Worse, it was followed by tragedy her death at age 39. When her family tried to find out what happened,... Read more
Million Hearts Campaign Aims to Lower Risk, Improve Care
With Valentine's Day around the corner, hearts shapes are everywhere - on cards, candy, and clothing. But every day of the year, your heart plays a big role in your health and well-being. And... Read more
Focus on Heart Health
February is a time when love is in the air. It is also American Heart Month. While you're thinking of hearts this Valentine's Day, do yourself—and your loved ones—a favor: focus... Read more
Your Options for Treating Rotator Cuff Tears
It's a fact of life: as we get older, we're more likely to get hurt when we exercise or take on certain everyday tasks. Routine activities like playing tennis or placing items on shelves can... Read more
Comparing Diabetes Drugs
We all like having choices. But sometimes, choices can be overwhelming. Marketing research shows that when faced with many choices, people can become frustrated or indecisive. Choices can be... Read more
Comparing Medical Treatments for Antidepressants
About one in every six adults experiences depression at some point in his or her life. The good news is that depression can be treated to give you a better quality of life. But finding the right... Read more
New Hope for Chronic Disease Management
Reforming our health care system, including better prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, will get a lot of attention from the Obama administration and the Congress. This makes a lot of sense... Read more
Ready to Lose Weight in the New Year? Experts Offer Guidance for Adults and Children
After too many holiday treats and too little exercise, it's no wonder many of us have made resolutions to take better care of ourselves in the new year.A few extra pounds can be lost as the... Read more
Asking Questions About Medical Tests
A registered nurse in her mid-40s, Nancy Keelan was concerned that her heavy, irregular bleeding could be something more serious than the start of menopause. But her doctor did not agree and told her... Read more
What to Ask Before Surgery
If you are facing surgery, you are not alone. Every year, more than 15 million Americans have surgery. Popular TV shows would have you believe that surgery is always an immediate, life-or-death... Read more
Tips for Taking Medicines Safely
If your doctor wrote you a prescription for the pain reliever Darvon, would you know if you received Diovan, a medicine for high blood pressure, by mistake? Unless you're a health professional or you... Read more
Internet Citation: Navigating the Health Care System. August 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.