HHS Releases the National Qulity Strategy for Promoting Better Health, Quality Care

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 388

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

July 16, 2013

AHRQ Stats

The five most expensive conditions treated in U.S. hospitals in 2010 in terms of average cost per stay were respiratory failure ($22,300); septicemia or bloodstream infections ($18,400); heart attack ($18,200); intracranial injury ($18,000); and complication from a device, implant, or graft ($17,600). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #146, Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2010.)


Today's Headlines

  1. HHS Releases the National Quality Strategy for Promoting Better Health, Quality Care.
  2. July 31 Deadline for Letters of Intent for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Infrastructure Development Program Funding Opportunity.
  3. AHRQ Study Shows Use of HIE Decreases Repeat Imaging in Emergency Departments.
  4. Find Out More on Achieving a Culture of Safety on AHRQ's Patient Safety Network.
  5. AHRQ in the professional literature.

1. HHS Releases the National Quality Strategy for Promoting Better Health, Quality Care

HHS last week released the 2013 Annual Progress Report to Congress on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. The report provides details on implementation activities by the private and public sectors, efforts to align quality measures, and successes in six priority areas, including patient safety, community health, and affordability. Since the National Quality Strategy was first released in 2011, the private and public sectors have continued to implement activities that improve the delivery of health care services, patient health outcomes, and population health, as directed by the Affordable Care Act. This year's report highlights:

  • Effective performance measurement, including efforts to identify and adopt unified measures that meet the reporting requirements of programs across the federal government, the private sector, states, and even individual health systems and providers. These alignment efforts include the work of the Measures Application Partnership, composed of more than 60 public- and private-sector organizations, and the Buying Value initiative, a group of 19 private health care purchasers and purchasers' representatives.
  • Quality improvement in the six priority areas that include patient safety, community health, and affordability. While 2012 focused mainly on HHS-led initiatives, this year's report describes public- and private-sector efforts such as the Irving, Texas-based VHA cooperative of nonprofit hospitals that reduced all-payer, all-cause readmissions by 17.6 percent in just 12 months across 192 hospitals.
  • Progress against the three strategic opportunities, first identified in the 2012 update, including the development of organizational infrastructure at the community level. The 62 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers work with more than 31,000 medical practices and 140,000 providers—nearly 45 percent of the nation's primary care providers—to adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records to improve patient health and care delivery.

Select to access the annual progress report and other materials.

2. July 31 Deadline for Letters of Intent for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Infrastructure Development Program Funding Opportunity

Letters of intent are due by July 31 for institutions that wish to submit an R24 application for infrastructure development programs under the AHRQ Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PA-12-114. Select to access the announcement. This includes all new, resubmission, or revision applications. This notice is being issued to assist applicants in determining institutional eligibility to apply for this FOA prior to the institution devoting substantial resources to develop an application. For applicants intending to submit an application for the December 2013 receipt date, a request for permission to submit an application letter must be received by AHRQ by July 31.

3. AHRQ Study Shows Use of HIE Decreases Repeat Imaging in Emergency Departments

Using health information exchange (HIE) can decrease repeated diagnostic imaging for back and head pain, according to research supported by AHRQ. Researchers analyzed cases from Memphis area emergency departments to better understand the impact of HIE on repeated x-rays, CT scans, and other radiological studies. Doctors, nurses and other clinicians working in ERs did not frequently look up results through the HIE. However, when they did use the system to obtain prior results, there was a significant reduction in repeat testing. The study suggests that more research is needed to assess strategies to encourage providers to routinely access HIEs to determine if prior test results are available. “Health Information Exchange Reduces Repeated Diagnostic Imaging for Back Pain” appeared in the July issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

4. Find Out More on Achieving a Culture of Safety on AHRQ's Patient Safety Network

A lack of a "culture of safety" is linked to increased error rates, according to a patient safety primer available on AHRQ's Patient Safety Network (PSNet). The primer identifies key features of organizations committed to a culture of safety. It also outlines specific measures and introduces a strategy to improve safety culture. Select to access the full patient safety primer, titled “Safety Culture.”

5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Hoonakker PL, Carayon P, Brown RL, et al. Changes in end-user satisfaction with Computerized Provider Order Entry over time among nurses and providers in intensive care units. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2013 Mar; 20(2):252-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Jenkins TC, Sakai J, Knepper BC, Swartwood CJ, Haukoos JS, et al. Risk factors for drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumonia and antibiotic prescribing practices in outpatient community-acquired pneumonia. Acad Emerg Med 2012 Jun; 19(6):703-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Winthrop KL, Baxter R, Liu L, et al. Mycobacterial diseases and antitumour necrosis factor therapy in USA. Ann Rheum Dis 2013 Jan; 72(1):37-42. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Parikh M, Issa R, McCrillis A, et al. Surgical strategies that may decrease leak after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 9991 cases. Ann Surg 2013 Feb; 257(2):231-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mudrick DW, Shah BR, McCoy LA, et al. Patterns of stress testing and diagnostic catheterization after coronary stenting in 250 350 Medicare beneficiaries. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2013 Jan 1; 6(1):11-19. 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 Dec 18; 60(24):2504-12. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Dodge KL, Lynch CA, Moore CL, et al. Use of ultrasound guidance improves central venous catheter insertion success rates among junior residents. J Ultrasound Med 2012 Oct; 31(10):1519-26. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bruckner TA, Nobles J. Intrauterine stress and male cohort quality: the case of September 11, 2001. Soc Sci Med 2013 Jan; 76(1):107-14. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed July 2013
Internet Citation: HHS Releases the National Qulity Strategy for Promoting Better Health, Quality Care: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 388. July 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/388.html