AHRQ Studies Validate Use of Screening Tool To Provide More Efficient Delirium Diagnosis

Issue #528
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
August 2, 2016

AHRQ Stats: Hospitals' Use of Electronic Health Records

From 2009 to 2013, the percentage of hospitals that electronically exchanged patients' medication histories with hospitals outside their system increased from 13 percent to nearly 50 percent. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report Chartbook on Care Coordination).

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Studies Validate Use of Screening Tool To Provide More Efficient Delirium Diagnosis

A screening tool makes delirium detection faster and easier in older hospitalized patients and home hospice patients, according to two new AHRQ-funded studies. Delirium, while challenging to diagnose, is often reversible; improving delirium recognition and treatment can improve patient outcomes and quality of life, according to study authors. As an alternative to neurocognitive interviews conducted by staff, the Delirium Observation Screening scale allowed faster identification of delirium. One study tested the tool in hospitalized patients ages 65 and older; the other tested the tool's ability to identify delirium in home hospice patients. In both settings, the tool was an accurate way to screen for delirium in older and vulnerable populations. Read the abstract of "Validation of the Delirium Observation Screening Scale in a Hospitalized Older Population," which appeared in the July issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine. Read the abstract of "Validity of the Delirium Observation Scale in Identifying Delirium in Home Hospice Patients," which appeared online July 13 in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

New Patient Safety Primer Highlights Learning Through Debriefing

Debriefing after real or simulated patient safety events can help health care professionals learn from experience and incorporate improvement into future performance, according to Learning Through Debriefing, a new patient safety primer available on the AHRQ Patient Safety Network. Debriefing is a central learning tool in health care simulation and is recommended after a real-life emergency response. Debriefing is defined as a dialogue between two or more people, and its goals are to discuss the actions and thought processes involved in a particular patient care situation, encourage reflection on those actions and thought processes and incorporate improvement into future performance. Debriefing identifies aspects of team performance that went well and those that did not. The discussion then focuses on determining opportunities for improvement at the individual, team and system levels.

Register Now for September 12-13 Workshops on Using AHRQ Data

Registration is open for upcoming in-person, free workshops on how to use two popular AHRQ databases: the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP):

  • The two-day MEPS workshop, Sept. 12 and 13, will provide an overview of the database followed by hands-on instruction. MEPS is the only national data source measuring how Americans use and pay for medical care, health insurance and out-of-pocket spending. Workshop participants do not need to attend both days, but to attend the second day, participants must attend the first day. A full program description, registration form and logistical information are available on the workshops & events page of the MEPS Web site. Send questions to workshopinfo@ahrq.hhs.gov.
  • The one-day HCUP workshop on Sept. 13 will focus on the project's new Nationwide Readmissions Database, which allows users to produce national hospital readmission rates for all payers and the uninsured for specific conditions while examining demographic, clinical and utilization characteristics. HCUP is the nation's most comprehensive source of hospital data, including information on inpatient care, ambulatory care and emergency department visits. More information about the HCUP workshop can be found on the workshops and webinars page of the HCUP User Support Web site.

AHRQ Updates United States Health Information Knowledgebase

AHRQ has updated the United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK), an online, publicly accessible registry and repository of health care-related metadata, specifications and standards. The Web site now provides:

  • Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) that health care professionals and eligible hospitals use to report quality data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The updated measure specifications include 29 measures for eligible hospitals and 64 measures for eligible professionals. CMS will maintain previously published specifications for the 2014 eCQMs for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals on its eCQM Library page and the eCQI Resource Center.
  • Enhancements to the Children's Electronic Health Record Format. These revisions, intended to make format requirements clearer, more actionable and better supported with additional context, include the grouping of 47 items onto a Priority List, which has been integrated into the updated Children's Electronic Health Record Portal in USHIK.

AHRQ funds and directs USHIK with management support from public and private partners.

New AHRQ Views Blog Post

Featured Case Study: American Cancer Society Uses AHRQ Resources To Support Cancer Screenings in Primary Care

The American Cancer Society is using AHRQ's Primary Care Practice Facilitation Curriculum to train more than 100 staff members who work with primary care practices across the country. The organization reported after pilot training that facilitators were better prepared to help practices increase cancer screenings, including recommended screening for colon, cervical and breast cancers. Access the case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Deliberation: obtaining informed input from a diverse public. Wang G, Gold M, Siegel J, et al. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2015 Feb;26(1):223-42. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Treating age-related macular degeneration: comparing the use of two drugs among Medicare and Veterans Affairs populations. Pershing S, Pal Chee C, Asch SM, et al. Health Aff (Millwood) 2015 Feb;34(2):229-38. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Differences in severity at admission for heart failure between rural and urban patients: the value of adding laboratory results to administrative data. Smith MW, Owens PL, Andrews RM, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2016 Apr 18;16(1):133. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Ambulatory surgery centers and prices in hospital outpatient departments. Carey K. Med Care Res Rev. 2016 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Practice patterns in Medicaid and non-Medicaid asthma admissions. Silber JH, Rosenbaum PR, Wang W, et al. Pediatrics. 2016 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Utilizing audiovisual and gain-framed messages to attenuate psychological reactance toward weight management health messages. Lee H, Cameron GT. Health Commun. 2016 May 9:1-10. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Eczema is associated with childhood speech disorder: a retrospective analysis from the National Survey of Children's Health and the National Health Interview Survey. Strom MA, Silverberg JI. J Pediatr 2016 Jan;168:185-92.e4.Epub 2015 Oct 28. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

The Ann Arbor Criteria for appropriate urinary catheter use in hospitalized medical patients: results obtained by using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method. Meddings J, Saint S, Fowler KE, et al. Ann Intern Med 2015 May 5;162(9 Suppl):S1-34. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed August 2016
Page originally created August 2016
Internet Citation: AHRQ Studies Validate Use of Screening Tool To Provide More Efficient Delirium Diagnosis. Content last reviewed August 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/528.html