Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 312

The number of people treated in U.S. hospitals for illnesses and injuries from taking medicines jumped 52 percent between 2004 and 2008—from 1.2 million to 1.9 million.

The number of people treated in U.S. hospitals for illnesses and injuries from taking medicines jumped 52 percent between 2004 and 2008—from 1.2 million to 1.9 million. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Statistical Brief #109: Medication-Related Adverse Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008.]

Today's Headlines

  1. Partnership for Patients to improve care and lower cost for Americans
  2. New AHRQ comparative effectiveness review on TBI and depression is available
  3. New guide helps TeamSTEPPS® trainers learn how to teach simulation
  4. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange on rural emergency department care
  5. AHRQ's Effective Health Care program presentations from the Eisenberg Conference Series 2010 are now available
  6. Special Emphasis Notices: AHRQ Priority Populations Research and Health Issues of Minority Women
  7. HCUP offers new online tutorial series' modules
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans

Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick launched the Partnership for Patients. The Partnership for Patients is a new public-private partnership that brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with State and Federal governments in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly. The two goals of the new Partnership for Patients campaign are to:

  • Keep hospital patients from getting injured or sicker. By the end of 2013, to decrease instances of patients acquiring preventable conditions while in hospitals by 40 percent compared to 2010.
  • Help patients heal without complication. By the end of 2013, to decrease preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another, so that the number of patients who must be re-admitted to the hospital would be reduced by 20 percent compared to 2010.

Achieving these goals holds potential to save both lives and money. The combined efforts of this partnership could save 60,000 American lives and reduce millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care over the next three years. It also could save as much as $35 billion to the health care system, including up to $10 billion in Medicare savings. More than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups, and employers have pledged their commitment to the Partnership. Select for details on how you can join the Partnership for Patients. Select to view the Webcast of the kickoff event; the HHS press release; a fact sheet; and, a list of resources, including AHRQ patient safety tools and products, being used as part of the campaign.

2. New AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Review on TBI and Depression Is Available

AHRQ has released a new systematic review of 115 clinical studies involving depression after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Comparative Effectiveness Review of Traumatic Brain Injury and Depression, prepared by researchers at the AHRQ's Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center addresses key questions on depression after traumatic brain injury and finds there are many research gaps. However, there are treatments available for people with depression and people should understand their options. A pair of plain-language guides that summarize the evidence are also available. The consumer guide, Depression After Brain Injury: A Guide for Patients and their Caregivers, explains TBI and highlights the symptoms of depression, treatments and possible side effects. The guide also offers a short list of questions that patients can discuss with their clinician. The clinician guide, Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury, summarizes what is known and not known regarding diagnosing and treating depression in patients with TBI. It also explains what clinicians should discuss with their patients when weighing treatment options and where research gaps still exist.

3. New Guide Helps TeamSTEPPS® Trainers Learn How to Teach Simulation

AHRQ and the Department of Defense have released a new guide that provides instruction on using simulation-based training when teaching TeamSTEPPS. Training Guide: Using Simulation in TeamSTEPPS Training integrates teamwork, interpersonal, and communication skills into simulation-based training. It offers strategies and tools that can improve team performance and enhance patient safety. The training course is intended as a train-the-trainer program in which key personnel become familiar with the materials and activities so that they can offer the simulation-based TeamSTEPPS training to local health care teams. Users of this training course may adapt and augment activities to meet the needs of their specific health care teams and program. Select to access the guide.

4. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange on Rural Emergency Department Care

Emergency departments in rural areas often lack access to specialists, which can lead to suboptimal patient care. The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange includes innovative approaches to address this issue, such as innovative videoconferencing that enables specialists in academic medical centers and other settings to provide evaluations and consultations remotely to rural emergency departments which can improve diagnosis and treatment. For example, the University of California at Davis Children's Hospital provides 24-hour pediatric evaluation and consultation services to rural emergency departments, which has improved diagnosis, treatment, and patient satisfaction. In addition, the Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CAARE) Center at the University of California at Davis Children's Hospital provides 24-hour child abuse evaluation and consultation services and monthly child abuse training to health care providers in remote emergency departments and clinics, which has led to increased identification and treatment of child abuse. To read more about this and other innovations and how to submit your idea for innovations, visit AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site.

5. AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Presentations from the Eisenberg Conference Series 2010 Are Now Available

Presentations from the Eisenberg Conference Series 2010 are now available on AHRQ's Effective Health Care (EHC) program Web site. These presentations explore the key tasks of the EHC program and proposed Web 2.0 solutions that can enhance public interaction throughout the research process, expand the dissemination of EHC program products, increase the use of EHC program materials at the point of care, and boost the comprehension and use of evidence among vulnerable and disparate populations. Select to access these presentations. Materials from past Eisenberg Center Conference Series are also available.

6. Special Emphasis Notices: AHRQ Priority Populations Research and Health Issues of Minority Women

AHRQ has issued two special emphasis notices with an interest in priority populations research and health issues of minority women. AHRQ Announces Interest in Priority Populations encourages grant applications that propose research that focuses on the health care for priority populations with specific emphasis in the following areas: explaining disparities in health care and clinical practice; implementation of research and interventions that aim to reduce disparities in priority populations and setting; addressing known gaps in research dealing with priority populations; development of methods to address the heterogeneity of priority populations, small sample sizes and to improve outcomes for priority populations in AHRQ sponsored research; research on cross cutting issues involving multiple priority population groups and settings (for example, disabled children, minority women, rural maternal and child health, etc); and development of innovative service delivery models for settings in which priority populations receive care.

AHRQ Announces Interest in Grants Focused on Health Issues of Minority Women encourages grant applications that propose research that focuses on minority women in health services research. This focus on a dual priority population is designed to improve clinical practice; improve the health care system's ability to provide access to and deliver high quality, high-value health care; and provide policymakers with the ability to assess the impact of system changes on outcomes, quality, access to, cost, and use of health care services. Research lags in its ability to analyze the health services to women and minorities, especially when examining the cross-cutting issue of health issues affecting minority women. For example, primary outcomes may not be powered for subgroup analyses or recruitment strategies are not designed to focus on and attain sub-population samples that are sufficient for subgroup analysis. In addition, the IOM report on Women's Health Research noted that racial and ethnic minority women have been underrepresented in many studies and as a result, generalizing findings is extremely limited.

7. HCUP Offers New Online Tutorial Series' Modules

AHRQ is pleased to announce the release of a new module and an updated re-release of a favorite in the HCUP Online Tutorial Series. These online trainings are designed to provide data users with information about HCUP data and tools, as well as training on technical methods for conducting research using HCUP datasets.

  • The all-new Calculating Standard Error tutorial is designed to help users determine the precision of the estimates they produce from the HCUP nationwide databases. Users will learn two methods for calculating standard errors for estimates produced from the HCUP nationwide databases.
  • The newly revised HCUP Overview Course is a helpful introduction to HCUP for new users. The original course has been updated to include the latest additions to the HCUP family of databases and tools, including the Nationwide emergency Department Sample.

The HCUP Online Tutorial Series is available on the HCUP-US Web site. For more information, contact HCUP User Support at hcup@ahrq.gov.

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.

Romaire MA, Bell JF. The medical home, preventive care screenings, and counseling for children: evidence from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Acad Pediatr 2010 Sep-Oct; 10(5):338-45. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kozower BD, Sheng S, O'Brien SM, et al. STS database risk models: predictors of mortality and major morbidity for lung cancer resection. Ann Thorac Surg 2010 Sep; 90(3):875-81; discussion 881-883. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Strom BL, Schinnar R, Aberra F, et al. Unintended effects of a computerized physician order entry nearly hard-stop alert to prevent a drug interaction: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2010 Sep 27; 170(17):1578-83. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Walkup JT, Akincigil A, Amin S, et al. Prevalence of diagnosed HIV disease among Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia in U.S. metropolitan areas. J Nerv Ment Dis 2010 Sep; 198(9):682-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kokorowski PJ, Routh JC, Graham DA, et al. Variations in timing of surgery among boys who underwent orchidopexy for cryptorchidism. Pediatrics 2010 Sep; 126(3):e576-e582. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Current as of April 2011
Internet Citation: Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 312. April 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/312.html