AHRQ Study Examines How Consumers Find Public Hospital Quality Reports Through Internet and Social Media

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 422

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

April 29, 2014


AHRQ Stats

Between 2002 and 2009, the percentage of Asian children who had a well-child medical visit increased from 43 percent to 47 percent. Rates of well-child visits also improved for white and Hispanic children, but there was no significant increase for black children during this period. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #419: Trends in Well-Child Visits: United States, 2002-2009.)

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ Study Examines How Consumers Find Public Hospital Quality Reports Through Internet and Social Media.
  2. AHRQ, NIH Announce Policy Clarifications on Grant Applications.
  3. New Clinical Prediction Rule for Kidney Stones Helps Avoid Unnecessary CT Scans.
  4. AHRQ's Web M&M Explores Diagnosis in Primary Care.
  5. Register Now: May 13 National Quality Strategy Webinar Will Introduce Levers To Achieve Improved Health Care.
  6. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Patient- and Family-Centered Care.
  7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ Study Examines How Consumers Find Public Hospital Quality Reports Through Internet and Social Media

A new AHRQ study examined consumers' use of online searches and social media to find hospital quality and cost information, which may inform their decisions about which health care facilities to use. The study and abstract, titled "Public hospital quality report awareness: evidence from National and Californian Internet searches and social media mentions, 2012," was published online March 11 in BMJ Open. Researchers used Google searches and a proprietary social media monitoring tool over a 1-year period to investigate consumer online searches for key terms, both nationally and in California. The study revealed that consumers are somewhat aware of publicly available hospital quality reports, have searched for them online and have discussed them with others. Commercially produced hospital quality reports were searched for more often than government reports, although the search term "HospitalCompare" dominated other health-related quality keywords.

2. AHRQ, NIH Announce Policy Clarifications on Grant Applications

AHRQ and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced policy clarifications for grant applications due after April 16. For prior unsuccessful applications, applicants may now resubmit the same idea as a new application by the next appropriate due date. AHRQ and NIH will not assess the similarity of the science in the new application to any previous submission. A new application does not allow an introduction or responses to previous reviews, and AHRQ and NIH encourage applicants to refine and strengthen their application submissions. Additional information is shown in the clarification notice.

3. New Clinical Prediction Rule for Kidney Stones Helps Avoid Unnecessary CT Scans

AHRQ-funded researchers have created a new clinical prediction rule to determine whether computed tomography scans are necessary for suspected kidney stones. The rule is explained in an article and abstract in the March 26 issue of BMJ called "Derivation and validation of a clinical prediction rule for uncomplicated ureteral stone—the STONE Score: retrospective and prospective observational cohort studies." The study derived and validated a clinical prediction rule called the STONE score that can reliably predict the presence of uncomplicated ureteral stone. Incorporating this rule into clinical settings could help limit unnecessary radiation exposure in uncomplicated cases and reduce overall treatment costs, the study's authors said.

4. AHRQ's Web M&M Explores Diagnosis in Primary Care

The current issue of AHRQ Web M&M features a Spotlight Case describing a 54-year-old man with no significant medical history who went to a new primary care physician complaining of 2 years of progressive numbness in his hands and feet, pain and weakness. The patient was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, a loss of sensation that typically begins in the hands and feet, and referred to a neurologist. With symptoms worsening, the patient saw two different providers at the same clinic over the next 10 weeks. Neither ordered additional tests, relying instead on the original diagnosis. When he finally went to the neurology clinic, an urgent magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord revealed critical cervical cord compressions so tight he was at risk for permanent paralysis. A root cause analysis of the case revealed that none of the doctors who had seen the patent had checked his reflexes or overall muscle tone. The Perspective on Safety section of the issue features an interview with Tejak K. Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., President of the National Patient Safety Foundation and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, about the foundation's evolving role in enhancing health care. Also featured is a conversation with Leah Binder, M.A., M.G.A., President and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, about efforts to address key health policy issues and the development of the Hospital Safety Score.

5. Register Now: May 13 National Quality Strategy Webinar Will Introduce Levers To Achieve Improved Health Care

AHRQ will host a webinar on May 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET about tools organizations can use to align with the National Quality Strategy. Nine new levers will be introduced to provide ways for organizations to improve health care. Each lever represents a core business function, resource or action that stakeholders can use to align their organizations with the strategy. The National Quality Strategy, established as part of the Affordable Care Act, serves as a catalyst and compass for a nationwide focus on quality improvement efforts and approach to measuring quality. It is guided by three aims to provide better, more affordable care.

Speakers include:

  • Nancy J. Wilson, Executive Lead for the National Quality Strategy.
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

Registration is open.

6. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Patient- and Family-Centered Care

The latest issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three profiles about programs that have integrated principles of patient- and family-centered care into the delivery of services, contributing to better outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. One featured profile describes a program at Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta, where current and former patients and family members serve on a variety of patient advisory councils and on every clinic, department and hospital committee. They provide input on potential improvements and key operational and strategic decisions. Patient advisers also provide support to current patients and family members going through similar treatment, and assist with staff and student education and training. In addition, they participate in other activities, including unit rounding, research, conference planning and recognition of outstanding staff. The program has contributed to improvements in patient satisfaction and in key metrics of organization-wide performance. The profile includes a new video featuring the innovator sharing a personal story about the innovation. The Innovations Exchange includes more innovation profiles and tools related to patient- and family-centered care.

7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

JM, Bond B, et al. Decreasing disparities in breast cancer screening in refugee women using culturally tailored patient navigation. J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Nov;28(11):1463-8. Epub 2013 May 18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Clement RC, Carr BG, Kallan MJ, et al. Who needs an orthopedic trauma surgeon? An analysis of US national injury patterns. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Oct;75(4):687-92. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Zhang S, Cardarelli K, Shim R, et al. Racial disparities in economic and clinical outcomes of pregnancy among Medicaid recipients. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Oct;17(8):1518-25. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Pace LE, Dusetzina SB, Fendrick AM, et al. The impact of out-of-pocket costs on the use of intrauterine contraception among women with employer-sponsored insurance. Med Care. 2013 Nov;51(11):959-63. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Abdus S, Selden TM. Preventive services for adults: how have differences across subgroups changed over the past decade? Med Care. 2013 Nov;51(11):999-1007. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Rinke ML, Bundy DG, Chen AR, et al. Central line maintenance bundles and CLABSIs in ambulatory oncology patients. Pediatrics. 2013 Nov;132(5):e1403-12. Epub 2013 Oct 7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Waddimba AC, Burgess JF Jr, Young GJ, et al. Motivators and hygiene factors among physicians responding to explicit incentives to improve the value of care. Qual Manag Health Care. 2013 Oct-Dec;22(4):276-92. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Basu J, Friedman B. Adverse events for hospitalized Medicare patients: is there a difference between HMO and FFS enrollees? Soc Work Public Health. 2013;28(7):639-51. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.


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Current as of April 2014
Internet Citation: AHRQ Study Examines How Consumers Find Public Hospital Quality Reports Through Internet and Social Media: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 422. April 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/422.html