AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Technical Brief on Stroke Care Is Available

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 305

Hospital admissions of patients covered by Medicaid jumped by 30 percent between 1997 and 2008, compared to a 5 percent growth in those of patients with private health insurance.

Hospital admissions of patients covered by Medicaid jumped by 30 percent between 1997 and 2008, compared to a 5 percent growth in those of patients with private health insurance. Growth in admissions for uninsured patients also outstripped those for patients with private insurance, rising by 27 percent. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Statistical Brief #104: Medicaid Hospitalizations, 2008.]

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ's effective health care program technical brief on stroke care is available
  2. New chapters for effective health care program's methods guide for comparative effectiveness reviews
  3. JAMA commentary encourages design of patient-centered health information systems
  4. Effective health care program update: Developing and Testing a Tool for the Classification of Study Designs in Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Exposures report is available
  5. New AHRQ report on women at risk for diabetes is available
  6. Call for abstracts to participate in an AHRQ Research Methods Symposium on Patient-Centered Outcomes
  7. Highlights from our most recent monthly newsletter
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Technical Brief on Stroke Care Is Available

AHRQ released a new technical brief highlighting a significant research gap related to stroke care. The brief finds that there is limited high quality research regarding the use of neurothrombectomy devices—an emerging technology—for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. A significant unmet need exists for randomized controlled trials to determine the optimal device(s) to use, and the patient populations most likely to benefit from their use. Advances in this technology may ultimately change the way that strokes are treated, but at this point, the specific population that is most likely to benefit from these devices is still under investigation. The brief, Neurothrombectomy Devices for Treatment of Acute Ischemic Stroke, was prepared by the University of Connecticut/Hartford Hospital Evidence-based Practice Center and published in the January 18 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Select to access the technical brief. 

2. New Chapters for Effective Health Care Program's Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program has released two new chapters of the Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews:

To learn more about the Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews and to access other chapters in this guide. 

3. JAMA Commentary Encourages Design of Patient-centered Health Information Systems

A commentary featured in the January 19 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from AHRQ Health IT grant recipient, Alex Krist, M.D. calls for the design of a patient-centered health information system that goes beyond the Personal Health Record. Krist explains that in order for technology to be used, a system should be designed to help patients access health information, interpret data from multiple sources and serve as a tool to facilitate action. Select to access the abstract. 

4. Effective Health Care Program Update: Developing and Testing a Tool for the Classification of Study Designs in Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Exposures Report Is Available

AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program has released a new report, Developing and Testing a Tool for the Classification of Study Designs in Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Exposures. The report, prepared by AHRQ's University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center, describes a tool that can be used within the context of systematic reviews to assist with the classification of study designs. Select to access the report. 

5. New AHRQ Report on Women at Risk for Diabetes Is Available

AHRQ has released a new report titled Women at High Risk for Diabetes: Access and Quality of Health Care, 2003-2006. Women account for almost half of all cases of diabetes in this country, and projections indicate that that percentage will increase between 2010 and 2050. Yet, many studies do not stratify by sex, so it is difficult to determine the quality of care that women with, or are at risk of developing, diabetes receive. This report uses national datasets to provide information about the quality of care among women at high risk for diagnosed diabetes compared with women not at high risk. It presents measures in several areas, such as access to care, general well-being, and evidence-based diabetes-specific preventive care. Select to access the report. 

6. Call for Abstracts to Participate in an AHRQ Research Methods Symposium on Patient-Centered Outcomes

AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program is accepting abstract submissions for an invitational symposium on research methods for comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research. The theme of the 2011 conference is "Methods for Developing and Analyzing Clinically Rich Data for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research." Authors of abstracts that are selected for the symposium will be invited to present their work at the symposium and to submit a complete manuscript for peer-review and publication in a special journal supplement. Submissions are due by March 1. The symposium is a follow-up to the 2006 and 2009 AHRQ conferences on Methods in Comparative Effectiveness Research. Papers presented at past conferences were published in the journal Medical Care and can be freely downloaded. 

7. Highlights from Our Most Recent Monthly Newsletter

The January issue of Research Activities is available online. Key articles include:

  • Serious complications from bariatric surgery are fewer when done by high-volume hospitals and surgeons.

The safety of bariatric surgery and uneven quality from hospital to hospital continue to concern patient advocacy groups and payers, despite trends toward declining surgery-related deaths. A new study found that the more bariatric surgeries that a hospital or surgeon perform, the lower the complication rate. Overall, 7.3 percent of bariatric surgery patients experienced perioperative complications, most of which were minor. Approximately 2.5 percent of patients had more serious complications, according to Nancy J.O. Birkmeyer, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, and colleagues. Serious complications were highest for patients undergoing gastric bypass (3.6 percent), followed by sleeve gastrectomy (2.2 percent), and laparoscopic adjustable band procedures (0.9 percent). Select to read this article.

Other articles include:

  • Some personality factors may affect success of chronic illness self-management programs.
  • Black Medicare patients less likely than whites to follow their doctor's instructions on taking medicines.
  • Public reporting on quality of care has definite, if modest, effects on nursing home care improvement.

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.

Strate LL, Naumann CR. The role of colonoscopy and radiological procedures in the management of acute lower intestinal bleeding. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010 Apr; 8(4):333-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hill SC, Miller GE. Health expenditure estimation and functional form: applications of the generalized gamma and extended estimating equations models. Health Econ 2010 May; 19(5):608-27. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Peterson ED, Dai D, DeLong ER, et al. Contemporary mortality risk prediction for percutaneous coronary intervention: results from 588,398 procedures in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010 May 4; 55(18):1923-32. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Christensen AJ, Howren MB, Hillis SL, et al. Patient and physician beliefs about control over health: association of symmetrical beliefs with medication regimen adherence. J Gen Intern Med 2010 May; 25(5):397-402. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Current as of January 2011
Internet Citation: AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Technical Brief on Stroke Care Is Available: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 305. January 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/305.html