New Data Show Hospital-Acquired Conditions Decline by 17 Percent Over Three-Year Period

Issue 450
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
December 2, 2014

AHRQ Stats: Emergency Care for Blood Infection

The rate of emergency department (ED) visits for septicemia (blood infection) increased 74 percent from 2006 to 2011, the largest increase for conditions with at least 100,000 ED visits. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #179: Trends in Emergency Department Visits, 2006-2011.)

Today's Headlines

  1. New Data Show Hospital-Acquired Conditions Decline by 17 Percent Over Three-Year Period.
  2. New AHRQ Tools Available To Support Shared Decision-Making.
  3. AHRQ Research Review Suggests Some Benefit in Use of Medication Therapy Management.
  4. Guide to Evaluating Health Information Exchange Projects Helps Users Assess Impact on Health Care.
  5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Increasing Screening and Treatment for Infectious Diseases.
  6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. New Data Show Hospital-Acquired Conditions Decline by 17 Percent Over Three-Year Period

A new report announced today by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell shows an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. According to the report, preliminary estimates show that hospital patients experienced 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period. While precise causality cannot be determined, the progress toward a safer health care system occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events. The efforts were due in part to provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as Medicare payment incentives to improve the quality of care and the HHS Partnership for Patients initiative. Hospitals also have implemented a variety of tools and resources developed by AHRQ to help improve patient safety, such as the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, the Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit and TeamSTEPPs.

2. New AHRQ Tools Available To Support Shared Decision-Making

AHRQ is offering tools to support health care providers who seek to use patient-centered outcomes research findings in shared decision-making. The tools and upcoming train-the-trainer workshops are part of the Agency's SHARE Approach, a five-step process aimed at increasing the use of evidence in shared decision-making between health care providers and patients. The SHARE Approach tools include reference guides, posters and other resources that support shared decision-making in clinical practice settings. Workshop participants are encouraged to train other clinicians to implement the SHARE Approach in their own organizations. Registration is open for the first SHARE Approach workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 23, 2015. Other workshops will be available soon in locations across the country. Workshop participants are eligible for seven hours of continuing medical education credits and continuing education units.

3. AHRQ Research Review Suggests Some Benefit in Use of Medication Therapy Management

A new research review from AHRQ suggests that medication therapy management (MTM) has some benefit for a limited number of intermediate and health utilization effects. According to the research review, "Medication Therapy Management Interventions in Outpatient Settings," MTM results in improvement when compared with standard care for some measures of medication adherence and appropriateness, medication dosing, health plan expenditures on medication costs, the odds of hospitalization for patients with diabetes or heart failure and the costs of hospitalization for patients with diabetes. Given the widespread implementation of MTM and the urgent need for actionable information, the report indicates that optimal investments in research require prioritizing research needs and addressing the wide variation in populations and interventions, both within and across studies.

4. Guide to Evaluating Health Information Exchange Projects Helps Users Assess Impact on Health Care

AHRQ's "Guide to Evaluating Health Information Exchange Projects" has been updated and redesigned to help those involved in health information exchange (HIE) projects assess an HIE project and create an evaluation plan. An HIE project evaluation can help an organization provide an assessment of the HIE project's impact on health care, guide data exchange processes and point to barriers or unanticipated consequences of implementing an HIE project. An evaluation can also help assess the longer term clinical and financial impacts of an HIE project and demonstrate return on investment. The guide for HIE projects has six sections to help users through the evaluation process.

5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Increasing Screening and Treatment for Infectious Diseases

The latest issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three programs that used innovative strategies to enhance access to testing and treatment for various infections, especially among vulnerable populations. One featured profile describes a sexually transmitted disease prevention program run by the Los Angeles County Department of Health that is targeted to young minority women. The program uses a marketing and outreach campaign to promote the availability of a free, at-home test kit. The campaign includes promotional materials, advertising, a website with online ordering for the free kit, a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained English- and Spanish-speaking workers and direct outreach. At the height of the media campaign for the program, which was launched in June 2009, more than 100 orders for test kits were received daily. Since then, the program has averaged about three requests a day for at-home test kits from the website and toll-free number and about five daily through the outreach program.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Damianov DS, Pagán JA. Health insurance coverage, income distribution and healthcare quality in local healthcare markets. Health Econ 2013 Aug;22(8):987-1002. Eput 2012 Oct 19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Drees M, Pineles L, Harris AD, et al. Variation in definitions and isolation procedures for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria: a survey of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Research Network. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014 Apr;35(4):362-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Drösler SE, Romano PS, Sundararajan V, et al. How many diagnosis fields are needed to capture safety events in administrative data? Findings and recommendations from the WHO ICD-11 Topic Advisory Group on Quality and Safety. Int J Qual Health Care 2014 Feb;26(1):16-25. Epub 2013 Dec 13. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Volandes AE, Barry MJ, Wood F, et al. Audio-video decision support for patients: the documentary genré as a basis for decision aids. Health Expect 2013 Sep;16(3):e80-e88. Epub 2011 Oct 28. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hess PL, Laird A, Edwards R, et al. Survival benefit of primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy after myocardial infarction: does time to implant matter? A meta-analysis using patient-level data from 4 clinical trials. Heart Rhythm 2013 Jun;10(6):828-35. Epub 2013 Feb 13. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Yun H, Xie F, Delzell E, et al. Risk of hospitalised infection in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving biologics following a previous infection while on treatment with anti-TNF therapy. Ann Rheum Dis 2014 Mar 7 [epub ahead of print]. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Chung S, Panattoni L, Hung D, et al. Why do we observe a limited impact of primary care access measures on clinical quality indicators? J Ambul Care Manage 2014 Apr-Jun;37(2):155-63. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Quigley DD, Elliott MN, Farley DO, et al. Specialties differ in which aspects of doctor communication predict overall physician ratings. J Gen Intern Med 2014 Mar;29(3):447-54. Epub 2013 Oct 26. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed December 2014
Page originally created December 2014
Internet Citation: New Data Show Hospital-Acquired Conditions Decline by 17 Percent Over Three-Year Period. Content last reviewed December 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/450.html