News and Notes
AHRQ-sponsored conference focuses on competency skills of mental health professionals treating traumatized survivors
The AHRQ-supported conference, "Advancing the Science of Education, Training, and Practice in Trauma," was held in June at Yale University. The conference was led by Joan Cook, Ph.D., of Yale University and Elana Newman, Ph.D., of the University of Tulsa. The aims were to:
- Identify empirically informed knowledge and skills that mental health providers (primarily psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers) treating trauma survivors must have from a "competency" perspective.
- Develop training models to provide services to meet the mental health needs of the broad and diverse trauma survivor population.
- Determine assessment strategies for measuring competencies for providing services to traumatized children and adults.
"The conference participants were highly invested in the conference goals," noted Charlotte Mullican, AHRQ’s senior health advisor on mental health, who attended the conference.
New AHRQ video series profiles health care innovators making a difference
AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange has launched a new video series profiling health care professionals whose policy innovations have influenced the structures, processes, or outcomes of health care delivery. The innovators share human interest stories that illustrate the key elements of their work and it’s impact. Following are the videos and profiles in the series Healthcare Policy Innovations: Changing Care, Improving Health:
- Bethany Hays, M.D., True North Health Center, Falmouth, ME, explains how @TrueNorthMaine uses innovative policies to enhance access to care for low-income patients. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgta8r6jRdA.
- Nancy Langenfeld, M.S., R.N., coordinated school health specialist, Charlotte, NC, describes how a North Carolina school district developed policies to lessen the impact of asthma on its students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM51vLL2dNg.
- Arthur Garson, M.D., M.P.H., director, Institute for Health Policy, University of Virginia, shares how clinics and hospitals bring in community members to help ensure patients receive appropriate care: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcZ3cGHrYWw.
AHRQ publishes guide to connecting health information exchange in primary care
AHRQ has published a new guide that includes best practices for health information exchange to facilitate patient-centered care in primary care practices. As information systems advance, more electronic health records (EHRs) will exchange data with regional health information organizations (RHIOs), and health care organizations will want patient-centered, evidence-based, decision support health care software provided by RHIOs.
The guidebook, Regional Health eDecisions: A Guide to Connecting Health Information Exchange in Primary Care addresses the entire process of connecting EHRs to an RHIO and establishing clinical decision support. The guide specifically introduces providers to:
- Connecting an EHR to a local health information exchange (HIE) hub and RHIO.
- Incorporating HIE into the clinical practices and workflows of providers using EHRs.
- Connecting clinical decision support to an aggregate HIE database via the Preventive Services Reminder System (PSRS).
- Using the principles of organizational change to implement the connection between clinical decision support, PSRS, and HIE in provider workflows and practices.
This guidebook is based on a project designing, implementing, assessing, and refining the use of local HIE hubs connected to an RHIO in Oklahoma using SMRTNET (September 2007–March 2012). The project involved six primary care practices using different installations of the same EHR. By the end of 2012, more than 70,000 patient records had been processed from these practices. The project was funded by AHRQ to test the feasibility and impact of HIE and the provision of decision support via a RHIO on the delivery of recommended preventive services and other components of primary care, such as laboratory test use, medication reconciliation, and coordination of care.
You can access the guide at www.healthit.ahrq.gov/RegionalHealtheDecisionsGuide.PDF.
AHRQ funds conference to enhance quality improvement science in pediatrics
A highly successful May 2013 Academic Pediatric Association conference, the Third Annual Advancing Quality Improvement Science for Children’s Healthcare Research, was funded in large part by an AHRQ conference grant and had a record attendance of 192 people. Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., president and CEO of AcademyHealth (and former deputy director of AHRQ), provided the national policy context for quality improvement (QI) and QI research. Breakout sessions addressed such key QI research topics as cluster randomized trials, interrupted time series, advanced regression methods, quality measurement, statistical process control, and funding. A lively closing panel presented the views of senior and more junior QI researchers on developing careers in QI research. Conference evaluations revealed that participants would like more similar training.
For more information, contact Brenda Harding, AHRQ project officer for the conference grant, at Brenda.Harding@ahrq.hhs.gov or Denise Dougherty, AHRQ senior advisor on child health and quality improvement, at Denise.Dougherty@ahrq.hhs.gov.
New funding opportunity seeks patient-centered outcomes research to close health care disparities
AHRQ is soliciting Research Demonstration Cooperative Agreement applications from institutions to establish and engage relationships with diverse stakeholders to identify effective strategies to reduce racial and ethnic health care disparities through shared decisionmaking. Institutions also will demonstrate how to reduce disparities through the translation, dissemination, and implementation of patient-centered outcomes research findings.
This funding opportunity focuses on racial and ethnic minorities in underserved settings. Application deadline is July 31. More details can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HS-13-010.html.