Decline in Adverse Drug Events Linked to Use of Health Information Technology

Issue #555
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
February 21, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Opioid-Related Emergency Department Care

Opioid-related emergency department visits more than doubled between 2009 and 2014 in three states—Minnesota, Ohio and South Dakota.  (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #219: Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visit by State, 2009-2014.)

Today's Headlines:

Decline in Adverse Drug Events Linked to Use of Health Information Technology

Adverse drug events fell by 67,000 between 2010 and 2013 as the result of the federal "meaningful use" program that offered financial incentives to hospitals for using certified electronic health records, according to a new AHRQ study. Adverse drug events are harms experienced by a patient as a result of exposure to a medication. They affect nearly 5 percent of hospitalized patients and can be deadly. To minimize such harms, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiated the meaningful use program in 2010, awarding financial incentives to hospitals and physicians who adopted specific information technology (IT) capabilities, such as computerized prescriber order entry. The new AHRQ study in Journal of the American Informatics Association found that the growth in meaningful use-related IT explained 22 percent of the observed reduction in adverse drug events in the first three years of the program. Access the abstract.

AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW Initiative Estimates Heart Health Needs in Primary Care

AHRQ’s EvidenceNow, an initiative that supports smaller primary care practices’ efforts to improve heart health, has found that participating practices regularly provide evidence-based care while recognizing the potential to improve on one or more of the heart health clinical services known as the ABCS: Aspirin use for high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation counseling. EvidenceNOW provides support services typically not available to smaller primary care practices to help them improve the care they deliver. Baseline data from more than 1,000 primary care practices participating in EvidenceNOW indicate that while an average of more than 50 percent of patients are receiving each of the ABCS services, many practices have not yet reached the EvidenceNOW goal of 70 percent. Access an EvidenceNow infographic for details, plus a new AHRQ Views blog post by the Agency’s Chief Medical Officer, David Meyers, M.D.

Feb. 28 Deadline Approaching for Organizations’ Input on Challenges and Solutions to Becoming Learning Health Care Systems

A Request for Information recently issued by AHRQ aims to gather feedback from health care organizations about challenges and solutions to improving patient care by expanding the use of evidence or becoming "learning health care systems." As defined by the National Academy of Medicine, learning health care systems are "designed to generate and apply the best evidence for the collaborative health care choices of each patient and provider; to drive the process of discovery as a natural outgrowth of patient care; and to ensure innovation, quality, safety, and value in health care." The deadline for submitting feedback is Feb. 28. AHRQ will use the information in future initiatives, such as developing research grant opportunities to advance this field, investing in the creation of tools and training materials for health professionals and health care delivery organizations, developing quality improvement measures, and/or convening collaboratives focused on accelerating the development of learning health care systems.

New Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet), which highlights journal publications, books and tools related to patient safety, has featured a new set of articles including:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s Current Issue or access recent Cases & Commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

First-Ever Study Examines Factors That Drive Higher Hospital Costs of Patients With Alcoholic Liver Disease

Hospital costs for patients with alcoholic liver disease were on average $3,200 higher than for patients admitted for alcohol-related conditions not involving the liver, an AHRQ study found. The study—the first to measure how inpatient costs were impacted by common alcoholic liver disease complications and comorbidities—found that alcoholic liver disease hospital stays averaged $13,543 compared with $10,355 for other alcohol-related disorders. Protein-calorie malnutrition accounted for 12 percent of the higher costs of stays for alcoholic liver disease, according to the analysis. Researchers used data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to examine more than 350,000 hospital stays nationwide. The study, "Identifying Inpatient Costs Attributable to the Clinical Sequelae and Comorbidities of Alcoholic Liver Disease in a National Hospital Database," was published in the journal Addiction. Access the abstract.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Cost of shingles: population based burden of disease analysis of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia. Friesen KJ, Chateau D, Falk J, et al. BMC Infect Dis 2017 Jan 13;17(1):69. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Racial and ethnic differences in heart failure readmissions and mortality in a large municipal healthcare system. Durstenfeld MS, Ogedegbe O, Katz SD, et al. JACC Heart Fail 2016 Nov;4(11):885-93. Epub 2016 Jul 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Primary care behavioral interventions to reduce illicit drug and nonmedical pharmaceutical use in children. Fan T, Rossi C. Am Fam Physician 2015 Jun 15;91(12):865-6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Serologic screening for genital herpes: an updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Feltner C, Grodensky C, Ebel C, et al. JAMA 2016 Dec 20;316(23):2531-43. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Important patient characteristics differ prior to total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty between Switzerland and the United States. Franklin PD, Miozzari H, Christofilopoulos P, et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2017 Jan 11;18(1):14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A marker-less technique for measuring kinematics in the operating room. Frasier LL, Azari DP, Ma Y, et al. Surgery 2016 Nov;160(5):1400-13. Epub 2016 Jun 21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Capacity and utilization in health care: the effect of empty beds on neonatal intensive care admission. Freedman S. Am Econ J Econ Policy 2016 May 1;8(2):154-85. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The effect of substance use disorders on the association between guideline-concordant long-term opioid therapy and all-cause mortality. Gaither JR, Goulet JL, Becker WC, et al. J Addict Med 2016 Nov/Dec;10(6):418-28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed February 2017
Page originally created February 2017
Internet Citation: Decline in Adverse Drug Events Linked to Use of Health Information Technology. Content last reviewed February 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.