AHRQ Wins Award for Excellence From Medical Liability Association

Issue 508
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
March 8, 2016

AHRQ Stats: Communication With Health Providers

Among adults who reported having poor communication with their health providers in 2012, Hispanics had the highest percentage (11 percent) followed by blacks (10 percent) and whites (7 percent). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, Chartbook for Hispanic Health Care).

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ Wins Award for Excellence From Medical Liability Association.
  2. AHRQ Study Finds Lack of Training Among Nurses on Proper Urinary Catheter Use and Specimen Collection.
  3. Discharged Pediatric Patients Infrequently Receive Home Health, Facility-Based Post-Acute Care, Study Finds.
  4. New From AHRQ: Evidence-Based Strategies for Developing Effective Physician Feedback Reports.
  5. AHRQ Study Examines Trends in Physician Payment Methods.
  6. Join AHRQ in supporting Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19.
  7. Register Now for the 2016 Season of TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer Online Courses.
  8. Featured Case Study: Consumer Reports Uses AHRQ's Evidence Reports in Drug Comparisons.
  9. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ Wins Award for Excellence From Medical Liability Association

AHRQ has received the 2016 Award of Excellence in Health Research from the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), an association that represents medical professional liability insurers. In a letter to AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D, PIAA President and CEO Brian K. Atchinson and Board of Directors Chair Gloria H. Everett commended AHRQ's dedication to develop evidence to maximize the quality, accessibility, and affordability of health care, and to work with HHS and other stakeholders to ensure that AHRQ findings are understood and used. In particular, PIAA recognized AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety for its focus on improving health care-associated infections, patient safety, and patient communication. PIAA represents medical professional liability companies, hospital and health system captives, risk-retention groups and other organizations that insure more than two-thirds of America's private practicing physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, and more than 2,000 hospitals and 8,000 medical facilities. The award will be officially presented to AHRQ on May 12 at PIAA's 2016 Medical Liability Conference in Washington, D.C.

2. AHRQ Study Finds Lack of Training Among Nurses on Proper Urinary Catheter Use and Specimen Collection

Key skills may be lacking among many nurses who treat patients with urinary catheters, according to a recent AHRQ-funded study. The researchers found that recommended procedures to test for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), a common hospital-associated infection, are not followed in many cases. Collecting specimens for urine culture is a key part of testing for CAUTI, requiring proper procedures for arriving at accurate results and keeping patients safe. Of 394 nurses studied, 76 percent reported receiving education on CAUTI risk reduction within the last 12 months. Almost half of the nurses did not believe that their peers comply with urine sample collection standards. This research indicates the importance of addressing both nursing competencies for obtaining urine cultures and nurses' knowledge as to when the culture is indicated. The researchers concluded that nurses are not commonly evaluated on the skills of placing and maintaining urinary catheters. Read the abstract for "How and When Nurses Collect Urine Cultures on Catheterized Patients: A Survey of 5 Hospitals," which appeared in the February 2016 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

3. Discharged Pediatric Patients Infrequently Receive Home Health, Facility-Based Post-Acute Care, Study Finds

Among pediatric patients, hospital discharges to both home health and facility-based post-acute care are infrequent, according to a new study. The study, partially funded by AHRQ, used data from AHRQ's Kids' Inpatient Database to assess the national prevalence of both types of post-discharge care among children. Researchers analyzed records from more than 2.4 million acute care pediatric (0–21 years old) discharges in 2012 and found that 5 percent of discharges were to home health care and 1.1 percent were to facility-based post-acute care. Neonatal care was the most common reason for discharge to home health care (46 percent). Researchers also found that both home health and facility-based post-acute care varied widely by race/ethnicity and across states, and that Hispanic children were less likely to use either type of post-acute care. More research is needed to understand these variations and to determine for which children home health and facility-based post-acute care are most effective, researchers concluded. The study, "Pediatric Hospital Discharges to Home Health and Post-Acute Facility Care: A National Study," and the abstract were published in the February 22 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

4. New From AHRQ: Evidence-Based Strategies for Developing Effective Physician Feedback Reports

Performance feedback reports help physicians assess the care they provide with the ultimate goal of improving quality, patient experience and best use of resources. However, their effectiveness depends on how they are designed and implemented, according to a new resource from AHRQ. Confidential Physician Feedback Reports: Designing for Optimal Impact on Performance offers evidence-based strategies for a wide variety of health care organizations, including hospitals, medical groups, health plans, professional societies, regional collaboratives, and dissemination and implementation campaigns. Whether used to refine or create a new physician feedback reporting system, this AHRQ resource will help organizations with four sets of interconnected design decisions: identifying a clinical focus to improve; ensuring the input data supports the report aims; optimizing the functional use of the reports; and delivering reports to promote impact.

5. AHRQ Study Examines Trends in Physician Payment Methods

Only 5 percent of office-based physician visits in 2013 were covered under pure capitation, while 95 percent of visits were reimbursed under some form of a fee-for-service system, a new AHRQ study found. Capitation, which pays physicians a flat monthly amount to treat patients, was touted as an effective way to control spending in the 1980s and 1990s, but its use declined from about 7 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2013, according to data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. New payment models formed under the Affordable Care Act are designed to shift the focus of payment from quantity to quality, which may be more successful than traditional capitation, according to the study. New alternatives to both traditional fee-for-service and pure capitation to pay physicians for health care services, such as through Accountable Care Organizations, global or bundled fees and other value-based payment, have been created to incentivize increases in quality and thereby contain costs. While it remains unknown whether new payment methods can control spending, payment reform must address the reality that physicians are unwilling to accept all of the financial risk for providing care, the authors concluded. The study, "Fee-For-Service, While Much Maligned, Remains the Dominant Payment Method for Physician Visits," and abstract were published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

6. Join AHRQ in supporting Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19

Sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation, Patient Safety Awareness Week highlights the importance of patient safety for both patients and clinicians. Learn about safety in all settings of care, including AHRQ resources and activities, during a Twitter chat (#PSAW16chat) on March 15 at 2 p.m. Or attend a free webinar on March 17 at 1 p.m., featuring speakers from AHRQ and other Federal agencies discussing patient safety as a public health issue.

7. Register Now for the 2016 Season of TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer Online Courses

AHRQ's TeamSTEPPS® training curriculum is available online as an accredited continuing education program, allowing health care providers and staff to become certified as Master TeamSTEPPS Trainers through a web-based course. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based teamwork approach to improve communication and teamwork among health care professionals. Health care professionals certified as TeamSTEPPS Master Trainers are prepared to guide TeamSTEPPS training and implementation in a variety of settings. Enrollment is now open for online training, with the first course beginning on March 18 and subsequent courses available throughout the year. Potential participants are encouraged to complete the TeamSTEPPS readiness assessment. The course is offered at no cost, but participants must establish an account, create a change team, submit a draft change plan and upload a letter of commitment prior to receiving an enrollment code.

8. Featured Case Study: Consumer Reports Uses AHRQ's Evidence Reports in Drug Comparisons

Consumer Reports magazine and affiliated publications use evidence reports from AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers Program to inform consumers and clinicians about prescription drugs' effectiveness and safety. Read the case study.

9. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Risk of high-grade cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer in women with systemic inflammatory diseases: a population-based cohort study. Kim SC, Glynn RJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2015 Jul;74(7):1360-7. Epub 2014 Mar 11. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Use of nondisclosure agreements in medical malpractice settlements by a large academic health care system. Sage WM, Jablonski JS, Thomas EJ. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jul;175(7):1130-5. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed March 2016
Page originally created March 2016
Internet Citation: AHRQ Wins Award for Excellence From Medical Liability Association. Content last reviewed March 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/508.html