AHRQ Article Identifies Core Competencies for Learning Health Care Systems Researchers

Issue 577
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 8, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Opioid-Related Hospital Stays Increase in Small Metro Areas

Opioid-related hospital stays more than doubled nationwide between 2005 and 2014 in small metropolitan areas (counties with 50,000 to 249,000 people). (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #226: Patient Residence Characteristics of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Nationally and by State, 2014.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Article Identifies Core Competencies for Learning Health Care Systems Researchers

A new article from AHRQ identifies knowledge- and skill-based competencies that are necessary for investigators who conduct research within learning health systems. The new list of core competencies is a resource for health systems that seek to design, implement and evaluate researcher training programs. As defined by study authors, a learning health system researcher is someone who is "embedded within a health system and collaborates with its stakeholders to produce novel insights and evidence that can be rapidly implemented to improve the outcomes" of patients and health system performance. AHRQ authors divided 33 core competencies into seven domains of expertise: systems science; research questions and standards of scientific evidence; research methods; informatics; ethics of research and implementation in health systems; improvement and implementation science; and engagement, leadership and research management. The article, published in Health Services Research, was developed based on a literature review, interviews, surveys and input from three expert panels. Access the abstract.

Fall-Related Hospital Visits Underestimated When Emergency Department Screening Relies on Diagnosis Code Alone

About 20 percent more emergency department visits by older patients would be attributed to falls if hospital screening took into account patients' chief complaint in addition to diagnosis codes, an AHRQ-funded study concluded. An analysis of electronic health records at an academic medical center during a 33-month study period identified about 4,400 fall-related visits among people 65 or older. More than 850 of those were not classified as fall related, however, because visits were recorded with ICD-9 codes alone. Those patients whose visits were not classified as fall related were less likely to be admitted but were associated with higher baseline comorbidity, which suggests that defining falls based only on coding underestimates the true burden of falls. Including patients' chief complaint along with diagnosis codes will help identify more people in the ED who have fallen, which will help guide future research and policy, as well as provide clinical care for the most at-risk population, authors concluded. The study appeared in Journal of American Geriatric Society. Access the abstract.

Study: Incentive Payments Encourage Primary Care Visits for Newly Covered Patients

Patients who are given a small cash incentive payment are more likely to see a primary care provider within six months of gaining insurance coverage than patients who are not, a new AHRQ-funded study showed. The study, published this week in Health Affairs, may demonstrate a successful method of encouraging early and regular contact with a primary care provider. In the study, researchers gave approximately 1,200 newly insured patients in Virginia varying small cash incentives (up to $50) to visit an assigned primary care provider. They found that approximately 75 percent of patients who received incentives visited their provider within 6 months, compared with 68 percent of those who only received payment for completing a baseline survey. By contrast, just 61 percent of the approximately 400 patients given no incentive visited their provider in that time.The authors concluded that cash incentives may be a cost-effective way to steer low-income, newly insured patients toward primary care, which could result in improved health outcomes and lower costs. Access the abstract.

Highlights From AHRQ's Patient Safety Network

AHRQ's Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet's current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ's WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

AHRQ Director Khanna Blogs About Vision for AHRQ

In his latest AHRQ Views blog post, Agency Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., outlines how AHRQ is positioned to reduce burden for physicians, speed the transfer of scientific discovery to the bedside and improve the use of evidence. He offers his analysis on areas where AHRQ can focus and leverage partnerships to speed innovation and position the Agency to address today's pressing health care challenges.

New AHRQ Publications Summarize Evidence on Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease

New AHRQ publications can help clinicians and patients learn about the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Current State of the Evidence, a research summary for clinicians, suggests that in healthy people, dietary intake of fish oil may help lower the risk of CVD death and stroke.  In people already diagnosed or at increased risk for heart disease, evidence showed fish oil supplements do not lower the risk of longer term heart problems, such as heart attack, heart failure and death.  The companion publication for patients, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease—A Review of the Research for Adults, can help patients talk with their health care team about the benefits and risks of omega-3 fatty acids.

Register Now: October 3 Conference on Issues Related to Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support

Registration is open for an Oct. 3 conference to address issues related to developing, disseminating, and implementing clinical decision support systems that help patients and caregivers make the best possible health care decisions. The event in Crystal City, VA, is sponsored by the AHRQ-funded Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network, which promotes the dissemination of patient-centered outcomes research through clinical decision support systems.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Improving patient-centered communication of the borderline personality disorder diagnosis. Sulzer SH, Muenchow E, Potvin A, et al. J Ment Health 2016;25(1):5-9. Epub 2015 Sep 11. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Patients with ulcerative colitis are more concerned about complications of their disease than side effects of medications. Thompson KD, Connor SJ, Walls DM, et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2016 Apr;22(4):940-7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Standard information models for representing adverse sensitivity information in clinical documents. Topaz M, Seger DL, Goss F, et al. Methods Inf Med 2016;55(2):151-7. Epub 2016 Feb 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association between noninvasive ventilation and mortality among older patients with pneumonia. Valley TS, Walkey AJ, Lindenauer PK, et al. Crit Care Med 2017 Mar;45(3):e246-e254. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Continuous patient engagement in cardiovascular disease clinical comparative effectiveness research. Vandigo J, Oloyede E, Aly A, et al. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res 2016;16(2):193-8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Changes in consumer demand following public reporting of summary quality ratings: an evaluation in nursing homes. Werner RM, Konetzka RT, Polsky D. Health Serv Res 2016 Jun;51 Suppl 2:1291-309. Epub 2016 Feb 11. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Heart rate recovery and systolic blood pressure recovery after maximal exercise in prevalent users of stimulant medications. Westover AN, Nakonezny PA, Barlow CE, et al. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2016 Jun;36(3):295-7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Understanding racial and ethnic disparities in postsurgical complications occurring in U.S. hospitals. Witt WP, Coffey RM, Lopez-Gonzalez L, et al. Health Serv Res 2017 Feb;52(1):220-43. Epub 2016 Mar 9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: AHRQ Article Identifies Core Competencies for Learning Health Care Systems Researchers . Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/577.html