New Study Joins Chorus of Calls for Reducing Diagnostic Errors

Issue #535
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
September 27, 2016

AHRQ Stats: Malnutrition Hospital Stays

Nearly 2 million hospital stays involved malnutrition among adults and children in 2013, accounting for 4.5 percent of all inpatient stays. The rate of malnutrition stays was highest among African-Americans and lowest among Hispanics. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #210: Characteristics of Hospital Stays Involving Malnutrition, 2013.) 

Today's Headlines:

New Study Joins Chorus of Calls for Reducing Diagnostic Errors

A new AHRQ-funded study echoes calls to reduce diagnostic errors by suggesting that the World Health Organization bring together experts to address the global challenge. The study recommended collaboration among primary care leaders, practicing clinicians, safety experts, policymakers and health information technology experts to prioritize needed practice changes and set research priorities that would lead to error reductions. The study, by AHRQ grantee Hardeep Singh, M.D., of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, follows a National Academy of Medicine report, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care," that concluded most people in their lifetime will experience an episode in which a diagnosis is missed, is inappropriately delayed, or is wrong. AHRQ is following up on that report by hosting a national summit on Sept. 28 to help prioritize U.S. diagnostic safety research. Access the agenda and register to attend via webcast. To learn more about Dr. Singh’s work with AHRQ to improve diagnostic safety, read a new AHRQ grantee profile. Access the abstract of Dr. Singh’s study, "The Global Burden of Diagnostic Errors in Primary Care," which appeared in the August 16 issue of BMJ Quality and Safety, or the recent AHRQ Views blog post by Agency Director Andy Bindman, M.D., on the challenges of improving diagnostic safety.

AHRQ Funding Available for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Research

AHRQ funding is available for research on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (CARB) in all settings, including long-term care and ambulatory care, where methods for combating antibiotic resistance and conducting antibiotic stewardship are less well-developed. The funding also includes research in acute-care hospitals and transitions between care settings. For more information, refer to the funding opportunity announcements for large research projects and large health services research demonstration and dissemination projects. Submissions begin Nov. 1. AHRQ is seeking grant applications that advance knowledge for promoting appropriate antibiotic use, reducing the transmission of resistant bacteria and preventing health care-associated infections (HAIs) in the first place. These research objectives align with the National Action Plan for CARB and the National Action Plan to Prevent HAIs. Access more information on AHRQ’s work to prevent HAIs and combat antibiotic resistance.

Two Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder Are Equally Effective When Used in Community Mental Health Settings

An AHRQ-funded study found that two mental health treatments—short-term dynamic psychotherapy and cognitive therapy—were equally effective in decreasing symptoms of major depressive disorder among patients receiving services in a community mental health center. The study was based on about 240 patients with major depressive disorder who received 16 outpatient sessions of either intervention between 2010 and 2014. Short-term dynamic psychotherapy aims to help patients understand reasons for their relationship conflicts, while cognitive therapy helps patients identify thoughts and behavior that led to their depression. This randomized clinical trial was designed to determine whether short-term dynamic therapy, a widely used treatment that lacks a robust evidence base, is not inferior to cognitive therapy, a treatment with well-documented effectiveness. The treatments were found to be equivalent based on clinical evaluators’ blind ratings of participants’ symptoms. The study, "Comparative Effectiveness of Cognitive Therapy and Dynamic Psychotherapy for Major Depressive Disorder in a Community Mental Health Setting: A Randomized Clinical Noninferiority Trial," and abstract appeared Sept. 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Academic Medical Centers Sought for Community Benefits Workshop Series

The Association of American Medical Colleges is seeking academic medical centers to participate in its AHRQ-supported workshop series, "Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity for Academic Medical Centers." Over the course of three years, interprofessional medical center teams will meet with community partners to identify priorities for collaboration, develop and implement plans to bring together partners’ community health efforts and develop an evaluation strategy to assess impact. Learn more and apply (PDF File, 92 KB) before the Oct. 28 deadline.

Indiana, Ohio Groups Develop Improvement Programs Aligned With National Quality Strategy Priorities

New online summaries describe the efforts of two organizations that have developed health care improvement strategies in support of National Quality Strategy (NQS) priorities:

  • Researchers at Indiana University designed the Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE) Team Care model to improve care for low-income seniors with multiple chronic conditions. Resulting reductions in hospitalizations, readmissions and emergency department visits have led several organizations nationwide to adopt the model. Indiana University offers technical assistance tools and support for organizations seeking to implement the model.
  • To reduce morbidity and mortality, the Better Health Partnership published scores on the quality of care delivered by more than 700 providers in northeast Ohio. Between 2010 and 2013, the partnership’s quality improvement efforts helped reduce hospitalizations for patients with diabetes, hypertension, angina or heart failure by 10 percent, saving $20 million in health care costs.

Email to report the success of a program that aligns with one of NQS’s six quality improvement priorities.

New AHRQ Views Blog Post

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Psychological distress and enrollment in Medicaid. Gonzales G, Golberstein E, Hill SC, et al. J Behav Health Serv Res 2016 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

The effect of universal glove and gown use on adverse events in intensive care unit patients. Croft LD, Harris AD, Pineles L, et al. Clin Infect Dis 2015 Aug 15;61(4):545-53. Epub 2015 Apr 21. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Evaluating implementation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention guidelines in spinal cord injury centers using the PARIHS framework: a mixed methods study. Balbale SN, Hill JN, Guihan M, et al. Implement Sci. 2015 Sep 9;10:130. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Electronic health record challenges, workarounds, and solutions observed in practices integrating behavioral health and primary care. Cifuentes M, Davis M, Fernald D, et at. J Am Board Fam Med 2015 Sep-Oct;28 Suppl 1:S63-72. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Revascularization in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease: everolimus-eluting stents versus coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Bangalore S, Guo Y, Samadashvili Z, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2015 Sep 15;66(11):1209-20. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Comparative effectiveness of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-based treatment on cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive blacks versus whites. Ogedegbe G, Shah NR, Phillips C, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2015 Sep 15;66(11):1224-33. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Peripherally inserted central catheter use in skilled nursing facilities: a pilot study. Chopra V, Montoya A, Joshi D, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2015 Sep;63(9):1894-9. Epub 2015 Aug 27. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Perception versus actual performance in timely tissue plasminogen activation administration in the management of acute ischemic stroke. Lin CB, Cox M, Olson DM, et al. J Am Heart Assoc 2015 Jul 22;4(7). Access the abstract in PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed September 2016
Page originally created September 2016
Internet Citation: New Study Joins Chorus of Calls for Reducing Diagnostic Errors. Content last reviewed September 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.