Special Issue of Health Services Research Examines Simulation Techniques

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 373

AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.

March 25, 2013

AHRQ Stats

Spending in 2010 on hospital care from all sources of payments averaged $4,221 a day or $13,131 for the entire hospital stay. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #401, Expenses for Hospital Inpatient Stays, 2010.)

Today's Headlines

  1. Special Issue of Health Services Research Examines Simulation Techniques.
  2. Study Finds Approaches Designed for Manufacturing, Technology Sectors May Improve Patient Care.
  3. Study Shows Software Can Help Clinicians Automate Medication Reconciliation .
  4. Research Finds Diabetes Patients Get Better Care When Seen by their Usual Provider.
  5. AHRQ Case Studies and Guide Focus on Improving Primary Care through Practice Facilitation .
  6. Register for AHRQ's MEPS Data Users' Workshop Set for May 8-9.
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature.

 1. Special Issue of Health Services Research Examines Simulation Techniques

An AHRQ-supported special April issue of the journal Health Services Research examines the use of simulation techniques in health policy research. Simulation analysis looks at the potential effects of implementing or changing a public health policy. The 11 articles include simulations of health care cost and policy issues, such as tax subsidies for employer-sponsored health insurance, the effect of pay-for-performance on physician quality of care, and the financial impact of demand surge on hospitals. A copy of the special issue, "Simulation Methods in Health Services Research: Applications for Policy, Management, and Practice," is available by sending an Email to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

 2. Study Finds Approaches Designed for Manufacturing, Technology Sectors May Improve Patient Care

A new AHRQ-funded study found that manufacturing management practices, including Toyota’s "Lean" methodologies, may be beneficial in helping hospitals achieve high-quality health care outcomes. Researchers have long surmised that management techniques successful in manufacturing and technology sectors may improve health care quality. However, little evidence exists about how these practices are disseminated in hospitals and whether they are associated with better performance. The study, "Management Practices and the Quality of Care in Cardiac Units," which appeared online March 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that the manufacturing management practices were associated with higher process-of-care measures and lower 30-day mortality due to acute myocardial infarction. Select to access the abstract on JAMA Internal Medicine.

 3. Study Shows Software Can Help Clinicians Automate Medication Reconciliation

Software can automate medication reconciliation by integrating, interpreting, and presenting information from multiple sources, according to an AHRQ-supported study. Medication reconciliation, the process of reviewing and updating patient medication lists, can be time-consuming. Health care providers must often review multiple sources of information to ensure that medication lists include all of a patient’s current medications. Computers can aid clinicians in this task by integrating information gathered from pharmacies, patients, and electronic health records. Collecting and presenting information from multiple sources in a graphic format helps clinicians identify which medications a patient may no longer be taking and expedites medication reconciliation. The study, "Design of a Medication Reconciliation Application: Facilitating Clinician-Focused Decision Making with Data from Multiple Sources," appeared online in the first quarter 2013 issue of Applied Clinical Informatics. Select to access this abstract.  

 4. Research Finds Diabetes Patients Get Better Care When Seen by their Usual Provider

Patients with diabetes were more likely to get appropriate care when they saw their usual clinician rather than another provider in the same group practice, according to a new study. People who saw their primary care provider for a new health problem were more likely to receive lifestyle counseling and medication changes for poorly managed diabetes. In contrast, patients who saw clinicians serving on an interim basis were less likely to receive additional treatments for their diabetes. This research was performed using natural language processing technology that examined hundreds of thousands of providers’ notes in just a matter of hours; it is increasingly considered to be a cost- and time-efficient approach to analysis of clinical encounters. The study, "Performance of Primary Care Physicians and Other Providers on Key Process Measures in the Treatment of Diabetes," appeared in the January issue of Diabetes Care. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

 5. AHRQ Case Studies and Guide Focus on Improving Primary Care through Practice Facilitation

Primary care practice facilitation holds promise as an effective and flexible strategy to support medical groups in their ongoing efforts to provide better, more efficient care and improve the experiences of patients and families, according to four new AHRQ case studies. Practice facilitation services are provided by trained individuals or teams that use a range of quality improvement and practice improvement approaches to build internal capacity of the practice over time and improve patient outcomes. AHRQ has supported a number of practice facilitation initiatives, such as the development of a 2011 manual, Developing and Running a Primary Care Practice Facilitation Program: A How-To Guide. Four new case studies illustrate how such programs operate in different organizational and geographic contexts and bring to life the concepts discussed in the manual. The case studies cover: North Carolina’s Area Health Education Centers Practice Support Program, Oklahoma Physicians Resource/Research Network, the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, and Vermont Blueprint for Health’s Expansion and Quality Improvement Program. Select to access the case studies.

 6. Register for AHRQ's MEPS Data Users' Workshop Set for May 8-9

Registration is now open for a hands-on AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Data Users' Workshop in Rockville, MD, on May 8-9. The workshop is designed for health services researchers who have a background or interest in using national health surveys. Select for more information and to register for the workshop.

 7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Charland KM, Buckeridge DL, Hoen AG, Berry JG, Elixhauser A, et al. Relationship between community prevalence of obesity and associated behavioral factors and community rates of influenza-related hospitalizations in the United States. Influenza Other Respi Viruses 2012 Nov 8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Chen J, Long JB, Hurria A, et al. Incidence of heart failure or cardiomyopathy after adjuvant trastuzumab therapy for breast cancer. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012 Nov. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Persell SD, Lloyd-Jones DM, Friesema EM, et al. Electronic health record-based patient identification and individualized mailed outreach for primary cardiovascular disease prevention: a cluster randomized trial. J Gen Intern Med 2012 Nov 11. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Haas JS, Amato M, Marinacci L, Orav EJ, Schiff GD, et al. Do package inserts reflect symptoms experienced in practice?: assessment using an automated phone pharmacovigilance system with varenicline and zolpidem in a primary care setting. Drug Saf 2012 Aug 1; 35(8):623-628. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Schwarz EB, Parisi SM, Williams SL, et al. Promoting safe prescribing in primary care with a contraceptive vital sign: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med 2012 Nov-Dec; 10(6):516-522. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Winters B, Custer J, Galvagno SM Jr, Colantuoni E, Kapoor SG, Lee H, Goode V, Robinson K, Nakhasi A, Pronovost P, Newman-Toker D. Diagnostic errors in the intensive care unit: a systematic review of autopsy studies. BMJ Qual Saf 2012 Nov; 21(11):894-902. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bowblis JR, Crystal S, Intrator O, Lucas JA. Response to regulatory stringency: the case of antipsychotic medication use in nursing homes. Health Econ 2012 Aug; 21(8):977-993. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Ahern DK, Stinson LJ, Uebelacker LA, et al. E-health blood pressure control program. J Med Pract Manage 2012 Sep-Oct; 28(2):91-100. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed March 2013
Internet Citation: Special Issue of Health Services Research Examines Simulation Techniques: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 373. March 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/373.html