AHRQ Study: Targeted Patient Outreach Can Increase Colon Cancer Screening

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 428

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

June 17, 2014


AHRQ Stats

Of the 3.6 million hospital stays involving childbirth in 2011, cesarean section deliveries were 11 percent more likely among women who were covered by private insurance than among those covered by Medicaid. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #173: Complicating Conditions Associated With Childbirth, by Delivery Method and Payer, 2011.) 

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ Study: Targeted Patient Outreach Can Increase Colon Cancer Screening.
  2. Study Finds Some Specialized Lab Tests Pose High Risk for Patient Harm.
  3. Now Available: AHRQ 2014 Medical Office Comparative Database Report.
  4. New Videos Highlight Ways Health IT Improves Care and Satisfaction.
  5. June 18 Webinar Will Focus on Implementing Long-Term Care Patient Safety Training Modules.
  6. New Draft Quality Measure on Antipsychotics Available for Comment.
  7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ Study: Targeted Patient Outreach Can Increase Colon Cancer Screening

An intensive outreach program targeting vulnerable patients dramatically improved screening rates for colorectal cancer, according to a new AHRQ-funded study published in the June 16 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. The study indicated that comprehensive outreach programs run through community health centers hold great promise in reducing preventable deaths due to colorectal cancer. The study found that community health center patients who received outreach via mail, automated phone and text messages and calls by a health center staff member were more than twice as likely to complete an at-home colon cancer screening test. This was the case even though most patients in the Chicago-based study were poor and uninsured and had limited English proficiency and low understanding of health information. 

"Early screening is an important tool in fighting colorectal cancer, but only three-fifths of U.S. adults age 50 to 75 overall are up to date on their screenings—and serious disparities persist by income, education, race/ethnicity and other groups," said AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D. "This report indicates that intense outreach can increase screening and save lives." 

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer for men and women and the second-leading killer among cancers in the United States overall. The study said expanded use of the at-home test, called a fecal occult blood test, may help increase rates of colorectal cancer screening, especially among people who face barriers to colonoscopy. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

2. Study Finds Some Specialized Lab Tests Pose High Risk for Patient Harm

According to an AHRQ-funded study, some specialized lab tests pose a particularly high risk for patient harm. The study, "A Prospective Tool for Risk Assessment of Sendout Testing," appeared online March 29 in Clinica Chimica Acta and will also be published in its July 1 print issue. Sendout laboratories—specialty labs used when testing is unavailable at a primary lab—have a high risk for diagnostic errors for many reasons, including increased handoffs, manual processes and complexity associated with rare, low-volume tests. AHRQ's Kerm Henriksen, Ph.D., is a coauthor of the article, which describes a tool designed to make specialized lab tests safer.

3. Now Available: AHRQ 2014 Medical Office Comparative Database Report

AHRQ's new "Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2014 User Comparative Database Report" provides the latest results that medical offices that administered the survey can use to compare their patient safety culture with other participating U.S. medical offices. Results from 935 U.S. medical offices and 27,103 staff are reported. The full report also presents comparative data for various medical office characteristics (number of providers, specialty, ownership and region) and respondent characteristics (staff position and tenure with medical office). The report presents statistics—including averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores and percentiles—on the patient safety culture composites and items from the survey.

4. New Videos Highlight Ways Health IT Improves Care and Satisfaction

New videos on AHRQ's Health IT YouTube channel highlight successful health information technology (IT) projects that enhanced care coordination, exchange of health information and improved medication management. The videos provide insight for health services researchers, health care providers and patient advocates on how AHRQ research supports the use of health IT to improve quality, safety, accessibility and affordability in health care. For more information about the Agency's health IT tools and resources, visit the health IT section of the AHRQ Web site.

5. June 18 Webinar Will Focus on Implementing Long-Term Care Patient Safety Training Modules

AHRQ is hosting the third in a series of four webinars on June 18, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET, on the use of "Improving Patient Safety in Long-Term Care Facilities" Training Modules. The webinar, developed for nurses and staff educators in long-term care facilities, will focus on how to train staff to effectively communicate changes in a nursing home resident's condition. Continuing education credits will be available to participants at no cost. Registration is now open and free, but space is limited. Also available for viewing are the first two archived webinars in this series. The first webinar provided an overview of the series and shared tips for teaching the content to others. The second webinar focused on how to train and engage staff to detect and report changes in a resident's condition. The final webinar in this series, scheduled for August 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET, will focus on falls prevention and management.
Registration for the June 18 webinar is open.

6. New Draft Quality Measure on Antipsychotics Available for Comment

A draft quality measure to assess the safe use of antipsychotics in children has been released for public comment on AHRQ's United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) Web site. The measure, "Use of Multiple Concurrent Antipsychotics in Children," was released on the Web site by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), along with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). It was developed under the CMS/ONC Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Project. All feedback is sent to CMS and ONC for review. USHIK is an online, publicly accessible registry and repository of health care-related data, metadata and standards. USHIK is funded and directed by AHRQ with management support and partnership from CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Motzkus-Feagans C, Pakyz AL, Ratliff SM, et al. Statin use and infections in Veterans with cirrhosis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013 Sep;38(6):611-18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Fritz SA, Tiemann KM, Hogan PG, et al. A serologic correlate of protective immunity against community-onset Staphylococcus aureus infection. Clin Infect Dis 2013 Jun;56(11):1554-61. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Fleisch AF, Burns JS, Williams PL, et al. Blood lead levels and serum insulin-like growth factor 1 concentrations in peripubertal boys. Environ Health Perspect 2013 Jul; 121(7):854-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Schroy PC 3rd, Emmons KM, Peters E, et al. Aid-assisted decision making and colorectal cancer screening: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med 2012 Dec;43(6):573-83. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sullivan SD, Carlson JJ, Hansen RN. Comparative effectiveness research in the United States: a progress report. J Med Econ 2013;16(2):295-7. Epub 2012 Dec 11. Select to access the abstract on PubMed® .

Backes AC, Kuo GM. The association between functional health literacy and patient-reported recall of medications at outpatient pharmacies. Res Social Adm Pharm 2012 Jul-Aug;8(4):349-54. Epub 2011 Dec 1. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Zoëga H, Valdimarsdóttir UA, Hernández-Díaz S. Age, academic performance, and stimulant prescribing for ADHD: a nationwide cohort study. Pediatrics 2012 Dec;130(6):1012-18. Epub 2012 Nov 19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Walia H, Strohl K, Koo B, et al. Are sleep symptoms predictors of resistant hypertension in a population-based sample? Findings from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. J Clin Hypertens 2012 Aug;14(8):530-6. Epub 2012 May 18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.


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Current as of June 2014
Internet Citation: AHRQ Study: Targeted Patient Outreach Can Increase Colon Cancer Screening: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 428. June 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/428.html