Study Finds No Link Between Limited English Proficiency and Increased Risk of Mortality

Issue 462
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
March 17, 2015

AHRQ Stats: Knee Replacements

There were 700,100 hospital stays for knee replacements in 2012. Knee replacement was the most frequently performed hospital operating room procedure for patients covered by Medicare and by private insurance. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #186, Most Frequent Operating Room Procedures Performed in U.S. Hospitals, 2003-2012.)

Today's Headlines

  1. Study Finds No Link Between Limited English Proficiency and Increased Risk of Mortality.
  2. AHRQ's National Quality Measures ClearinghouseTM Now Represents Public Health Quality Aims.
  3. AHRQ's Web M&M Explores Risk in Hospital Transfers.
  4. Fifth Annual QI Research Methods Conference Scheduled for April 24.
  5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. Study Finds No Link Between Limited English Proficiency and Increased Risk of Mortality

Patients with limited English proficiency have known limitations accessing health care in the United States, including access to hospital care, but those limitations don't appear to increase the risk of mortality, according to an AHRQ-funded study. "Disparities in Rates of Inpatient Mortality and Adverse Events: Race/Ethnicity and Language as Independent Contributors," appeared December 12, 2014, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Authors of the study, the largest study of language and inpatient mortality and obstetric trauma among hospital patients to date, include AHRQ's Ernest Moy, M.D., and former AHRQ staff member Roxanne Andrews, Ph.D. Researchers examined rates of inpatient mortality and obstetric trauma across language groups—English, Spanish and languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands—and compared patterns of variation in quality of care by language with patterns by race and ethnicity. Most outcomes were similar, with the exception of higher stroke mortality for Japanese-speaking patients and higher rates of obstetric trauma among patients who did not speak English. Using 2009 data from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, researchers examined nearly 3.8 million California inpatient records.

2. AHRQ's National Quality Measures ClearinghouseTM Now Represents Public Health Quality Aims

AHRQ's National Quality Measures ClearinghouseTM (NQMCTM) now tags measure summaries corresponding to its Population Health Measure Domains with one or more of nine Public Health Aims for Quality. These quality aims, selected by the HHS Public Health Quality Forum (PHQF), give a description of the characteristics on what quality should look like in public health. The nine quality aims are intended to guide public health practices to ensure quality for improving population health outcomes. The nine aims are effectiveness, efficiency, equity, health-promoting, population-centeredness, proactiveness, risk-reducing, transparency and vigilance. They serve as aspirational characteristics to guide quality goals (for example, program design and implementation, management and governance, or policy research) when fulfilling a public health mission. NQMC's Glossary provides additional information about PHQF's public health aims for quality.

3. AHRQ's Web M&M Explores Risk in Hospital Transfers

The current issue of AHRQ Web M&M features a Spotlight Case involving a man who was sent to another hospital for surgery after a computed tomography (CT) scan revealed renal cell carcinoma in his right kidney. The original CT scan was not available at the time of the transfer. However, hospital records that were sent documented that the tumor was in his left kidney. The second hospital didn't obtain repeat imaging, and the surgeon did not see the original CT scan before removing the wrong kidney. The day after the surgery, the pathologist contacted the surgeon to report no evidence of cancer. The surgeon then reviewed the initial CT scan and realized the mistake. The issue also features an interview with Brian Jarman, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the Imperial College of Medicine in London, about risk-adjusted mortality as a safety and quality measure. In the Perspectives section of the issue, an article by Ian Scott, M.B.B.S., M.H.A., MEd, of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, talks about where risk-adjusted mortality rates as a measure of hospital safety.

4. Fifth Annual QI Research Methods Conference Scheduled for April 24

Register now for the Academic Pediatric Association's 5th Annual Quality Improvement (QI) Research Methods Conference, supported in part by AHRQ, April 24 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego. The conference begins the day before the official start of the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting April 25–28 at the same location. This year's conference includes interactive sessions on study design and research methods of high relevance to QI and its evaluation, a preconference breakfast with the faculty, several prominent keynote speakers and a closing plenary session featuring the best of the abstracts submitted to the conference. Registration is open.

5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Mamo LA, Browe DK, Logan HC, et al. Patient informed governance of distributed research networks: results and discussion from six patient focus groups. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2013 Nov 16;2013:920-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

McDougald Scott AM, Jackson GP, Ho YX, et al. Adapting comparative effectiveness research summaries for delivery to patients and providers through a patient portal. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2013 Nov 16;2013:959-68. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kraschnewski JL, Gabbay RA. Role of health information technologies in the Patient-centered Medical Home. J Diabetes Sci Technol 2013 Sep 1;7(5):1376-85. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Chang HY, Daubresse M, Kruszewski SP, et al. Prevalence and treatment of pain in EDs in the United States, 2000 to 2010. Am J Emerg Med 2014 May;32(5):421-31. Epub 2014 Jan 21. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Simning A, Conwell Y, Fisher SG, et al. The characteristics of anxiety and depression symptom severity in older adults living in public housing. Int Psychogeriatr 2012 Apr;24(4):614-23. Epub 2011 Oct 21. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

de Cordova PB, Phibbs CS, Schmitt SK, et al. Night and day in the VA: associations between night shift staffing, nurse workforce characteristics, and length of stay. Res Nurs Health 2014 Apr;37(2):90-7. Epub 2014 Jan 9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Zhang J, Xie F, Delzell E, et al. Trends in the use of biologic agents among rheumatoid arthritis patients enrolled in the US Medicare program. Arthritis Care Res 2013 Nov;65(11):1743-51. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Wald HL, Bandle B, Richard A, et al. Accuracy of electronic surveillance of catheter-associated urinary tract infection at an academic medical center. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Jun;35(6):685-91. Epub 2014 Apr 18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed March 2015
Page originally created March 2015
Internet Citation: Study Finds No Link Between Limited English Proficiency and Increased Risk of Mortality. Content last reviewed March 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/462.html