Academic Pediatrics Supplement Looks at Quality Improvement in Children's Health Care

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 404

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

December 3, 2013


AHRQ Stats

More than two-thirds of senior Americans with Medicare coverage purchased cardiovascular drugs such as calcium channel blockers and diuretics in 2010. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #411: Expenditures for the Top Five Therapeutic Classes of Outpatient Prescription Drugs, Medicare Beneficiaries, Age 65 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2010).

Today's Headlines

  1. Academic Pediatrics Supplement Looks at Quality Improvement in Children's Health Care.
  2. New AHRQ Tool Assesses Effectiveness of Patient Education Materials.
  3. Hispanic Women Successfully Navigate Computer-Based Bilingual Breastfeeding Education Program.
  4. Multicomponent Dissemination Strategies Better at Encouraging Use of Health-Related Evidence.
  5. AHRQ Announces Funding Opportunity for Improving Quality Through Health IT.
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature.

1. Academic Pediatrics Supplement Looks at Quality Improvement in Children's Health Care

The first part of a new AHRQ-funded supplement to Academic Pediatrics features research and lessons learned on quality improvement efforts in children's health care. The supplement, which was published as open access online on November 21 and co-edited by Denise Dougherty, Ph.D., of AHRQ, includes a study that evaluated early experiences of participants in quality improvement collaboratives in the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration Grant Program in nine states. According to the study, collaborative participants valued various aspects of support in developing patient-centered medical home capacity and improving quality improvement performance, but the volume of change-inducing initiatives and information was often overwhelming. This study was coauthored by Cindy Brach of AHRQ along with Kelly J. Devers and Leslie Foster, both of whom are members of the grant program's national evaluation team. In addition, Dougherty co-authored an overview, along with Marie C. McCormick, M.D, of Harvard School of Public Health, and John Patrick T. Co, M.D., of MassGeneral Hospital for Children, that highlights the approaches to conducting research to evaluate the context-sensitive effectiveness of quality improvement interventions described in detail in four articles featured in the supplement. The methods articles stem from presentations at the Academic Pediatric Association annual quality improvement research methods conferences also supported by AHRQ. Select to access more information on AHRQ's role in CHIPRA or on the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant projects and national evaluation. A second supplement on education in quality improvement is expected to be published early next year in Academic Pediatrics.

2. New AHRQ Tool Assesses Effectiveness of Patient Education Materials

A new tool funded by AHRQ helps health care professionals tasked with providing high-quality information to patients and consumers assess the understandability and actionability of print and audiovisual patient education materials. The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) is part of the agency's ongoing efforts to promote health literacy. It helps users select from the many patient education materials available to determine those that are easier to understand and act on. Materials that score better on the PEMAT can be distributed to patients and consumers in hard copy, placed in an electronic health record system for providers to access at the point of care, or posted on patient portals. The accompanying user's guide provides instructions on how to use the PEMAT, and a spreadsheet file automatically calculates PEMAT scores.

3. Hispanic Women Successfully Navigate Computer-Based Bilingual Breastfeeding Education Program

Research supported by AHRQ evaluated the usability of a computerized learning program to provide breastfeeding education to Hispanic women residing in rural areas. "An interactive, bilingual touch-screen program to promote breastfeeding among Hispanic rural women: usability study" was published online on November 7 by the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Research Protocols. According to the study and journal abstract, usability evaluation participants were asked to complete a set of tasks while explaining out loud what they were thinking. They also answered questions about their experience with the program. Participants were able to complete the assigned tasks without help and reported a positive experience, according to the study.

4. Multicomponent Dissemination Strategies Better at Encouraging Use of Health-Related Evidence

When determining how to best communicate and disseminate research, including uncertain evidence, to inform health care decisions, multicomponent dissemination strategies that address a combination of reach, ability, or motivation appear to be more effective than a single strategy in changing clinicians' behaviors, according to a new research review by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program. However, there is insufficient evidence to determine the comparative effectiveness of various dissemination strategies. The research review, "Communication and Dissemination Strategies To Facilitate the Use of Health-Related Evidence," found that clear communication and active dissemination of evidence to all relevant audiences in easy-to-understand formats are critical to increase awareness, consideration, adoption, and use of health-related evidence.

5. AHRQ Announces Funding Opportunity for Improving Quality Through Health IT

AHRQ published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), effective November 15, for exploratory and developmental (R21) grants to improve health care quality through health information technology (IT). This announcement supports three types of research studies: pilot and feasibility or self-contained health IT research projects, secondary data analysis of health IT research, and economic (prospective or retrospective) analyses of a health IT project. The FOA is focused on five research areas of interest— design, implementation, use, impact on outcomes, and measurement—that are critical to supporting health care quality and are considered part of a continuous quality improvement process.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Zandberg DP, Hendrick F, Vannorsdall E, et al. Tertiary center referral patterns for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome are indicative of age and race disparities: a single-institution experience. Leuk Lymphoma. 2013 Feb;54(2):304-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Guggilam A, Hutchinson KR, West TA, et al. In vivo and in vitro cardiac responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation in volume-overload heart failure. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2013 Apr;57:47-58. Epub 2012 Dec 7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stuart B, Davidoff A, Erten M, et al. How Medicare Part D benefit phases affect adherence with evidence-based medications following acute myocardial infarction. Health Serv Res. 2013 Jun 6. Epub ahead of print. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Nuckols TK, Escarce JJ, Asch SM. The effects of quality of care on costs: a conceptual framework. Milbank Q. 2013 Jun;91(2):316-53. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Vinnard C, Linkin DR, Localio AR, et al. Effectiveness of interventions in reducing antibiotic use for upper respiratory infections in ambulatory care practices. Popul Health Manag. 2013 Feb;16(1):22-7. Epub 2012 Oct 31. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Cummins MR, Crouch B, Gesteland P, et al. Inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of telephone-based communication between U.S. poison control centers and emergency departments. Clin Toxicol. 2013 Jun;51(5):435-43. Epub 2013 May 23. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Boatright DH, Byyny RL, Hopkins E, et al. Validation of rules to predict emergent surgical intervention in pediatric trauma patients. J Am Coll Surg. 2013 Jun;216(6):1094-1102. Epub 2013 Apr 23. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Davidoff AJ, Zuckerman IH, Pandya N, et al. A novel approach to improve health status measurement in observational claims-based studies of cancer treatment and outcomes. J Geriatr Oncol. 2013 Apr;4(2):157-65 Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.


Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Jeff Hardy at Jeff.Hardy@ahrq.gov or (301) 427-1802.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or Email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your Email address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, Email: updates@subscriptions.ahrq.gov. For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Current as of December 2013
Internet Citation: Academic Pediatrics Supplement Looks at Quality Improvement in Children's Health Care: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 404. December 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/404.html