New Spanish-language Guides Help Consumers with Treatments for Common Illnesses

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 323

Influenza increased dramatically as a major cause of hospitalizations for children age 17 and under, climbing from 65th in the ranking of reasons why children go to the hospital to 10th in 2009.

Influenza increased dramatically as a major cause of hospitalizations for children age 17 and under, climbing from 65th in the ranking of reasons why children go to the hospital to 10th in 2009. Skin infections increased from the 13th most common condition in 2000 to 7th in 2009. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Statistical Brief #118: Hospital Stays for Children, 2009.]

Today's Headlines

  1. New Spanish-language guides inform decisions about heart disease and other illnesses
  2. New AHRQ report shows strengths and areas for improvement in nursing homes
  3. Designing an ideal consumer reporting systems for patient safety events
  4. Task Force final recommendation on screening for bladder cancer in asymptomatic adults
  5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange focuses on reducing readmissions in special settings
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. New Spanish-language Guides Help Consumers with Treatments for Common Illnesses

AHRQ has released six new Spanish-language guides that help patients compare treatments for common illnesses. They are:

  • Guia para pacientes que están en tratamiento de una cardiopatía coronaria estable ("ACE Inhibitors" and "ARBs" to Protect Your Heart?).
  • Controle el dolor por una fractura de cadera (Managing Pain from a Broken Hip).
  • Opciones para tratar el desgarro de los músculos y tendons del hombre (Treatment Options for Rotator Cuff Tears).
  • La depresión después de una lesión cerebral (Depression after Brain Injury).
  • Conozca sobre la radioterapia en el cáncer de cabeza y cuello (Understanding Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer).
  • Hormona del crecimiento humano para los ninos con fibrosis quistica (Human Growth Hormone for Children with Cystic Fibrosis)

Select to access the Spanish-language Effective Health Care patient guides. Print copies are available by sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

2. New AHRQ Report Shows Strengths and Areas for Improvement in Nursing Homes

AHRQ's first report on nursing home safety culture shows that 86 percent of nursing home employees participating in surveys on safety culture feel that residents are well cared for and safe. The report also shows that just over half of staff (51 percent) reported that they feel safe reporting mistakes. The report, Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2011 User Comparative Database Report, offers a comparative assessment of 16,155 staff responses from 226 U.S. nursing homes that implemented AHRQ's Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture. The new report also includes supplemental information that can help survey users understand how to compare their results to other survey users and prioritize and target improvement efforts. In addition, overall survey results are presented by nursing home characteristics such as size and ownership and respondent characteristic such as job titles, work areas, direct patient contact, and shift worked. Select to access the Web-only report.

3. Designing an Ideal Consumer Reporting Systems for Patient Safety Events

A recent report found little evidence of improvements in patient safety since the publication of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System in 1999. The new AHRQ-funded report, Designing Consumer Reporting Systems for Patient Safety, was developed for the purpose of making recommendations for an ideal reporting system that consumers would use to report experiences with patient safety events. The recommendations for key design features of the consumer reporting system were developed by a technical expert panel, with input from consumer focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and an environmental scan and literature review. The technical expert panel made recommendations based on a set of six research questions developed by AHRQ. One of the panel recommendations is that reporting systems should collect information on all types of events, ranging from near-miss and no-harm events to adverse events. The expert panel also recommends that information collected from consumers should include where a patient safety event occurred; what contributed to the event; whether or to whom an event was reported; what happened when an event was reported; and the impacts or consequences of the event. Select to access the report, including all technical expert panel recommendations.

4. Task Force Final Recommendation on Screening for Bladder Cancer in Asymptomatic Adults

In an update to its 2004 recommendation, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for bladder cancer in asymptomatic adults. This is an I statement. Previously, the Task Force concluded that the harms outweighed the benefits of screening for bladder cancer. The update focused on the benefits and harms of screening among people without symptoms, the accuracy of screening tests done in primary care settings, and the benefits and harms of treatment. The updated evidence review did not find any new high quality evidence to determine adequately the balance of benefits and harms of screening for bladder cancer. However, bladder cancer is a common cancer and can cause considerable health problems including death. Therefore, the Task Force determined that the evidence was insufficient to provide a recommendation for or against bladder cancer screening. The Task Force emphasized the need for additional research in this area. The recommendation appeared in the August 16 issue of Annuals of Internal Medicine. Select to access the recommendation on the USPSTF Web site .

5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Reducing Readmissions in Special Settings

This week's issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features profiles of three programs that reduced hospital readmissions from long-term residential care and skilled nursing facilities, leading to significant cost savings. One such program is the Lakeview Ranch, Inc., in Minnesota, a long-term care residential facility for dementia patients. Using a person-centered approach including comprehensive screening and evaluation, daily activities and therapies tailored for dementia patients, extensive medication reviews, and ongoing monitoring of needs, Lakeview Ranch, Inc., reduced psychiatric hospitalizations and behavior-related medications. Read more innovations and tools about reducing readmissions on AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 600 searchable innovations and 1,600 searchable QualityTools.

6. 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.

Skolasky RL, Green AF, Scharfstein D, et al. Psychometric properties of the patient activation measure among multimorbid older adults. Health Serv Res 2011 Apr; 46(2):457-78. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Cook NL, Orav EJ, Liang CL, et al. Racial and gender disparities in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement: are they due to overuse or underuse? Med Care Res Rev 2011 Apr; 68(2):226-46. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Allen AS, Forman JP, Orav EJ, et al. Primary care management of chronic kidney disease. J Gen Intern Med 2011 Apr; 26(4):386-92. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Jena AB, Goldman DP, Joyce G. Association between the birth of twins and parental divorce. Obstet Gynecol 2011 Apr; 117(4):892-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Sharkey S, Hudak S, Horn SD, Spector W. Leveraging certified nursing assistant documentation and knowledge to improve clinical decision making: the on-time quality improvement program to prevent pressure ulcers. Adv Skin Wound Care 2011 Apr; 24(4):182-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Liu V, Bhattacharya J, Weill D, Hlatky MA. Persistent racial disparities in survival after heart transplantation. Circulation 2011 Apr 19; 123(15):1642-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Burris HH, Werler MM. U.S. provider reported folic acid or multivitamin ordering for non-pregnant women of childbearing age: NAMCS and NHAMCS, 2005-2006. Matern Child Health J 2011 Apr; 15(3):352-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

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Current as of August 2011
Internet Citation: New Spanish-language Guides Help Consumers with Treatments for Common Illnesses: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 323. August 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/323.html