AHRQ Deputy Director Calls Improving Diagnosis the ‘Next Critical Leap’ in Patient Safety

Issue 579
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 22, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Health Care Coverage for Young Adults

Young adults ages 18 to 29 made up the largest percentage of people gaining health care coverage from 2010 to 2016. The uninsured rate for this group declined by more than half, from 31 percent to 15 percent. (Source: AHRQ, 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.) 

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Deputy Director Calls Improving Diagnosis the 'Next Critical Leap' in Patient Safety

Improving diagnosis represents the "next critical leap in patient safety," according to an editorial by AHRQ Deputy Director Sharon B. Arnold, Ph.D., in the journal Diagnosis. The editorial accompanied publication of proceedings from last year's AHRQ Research Summit on Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, whose participants detailed that diagnostic error is common, costly and preventable. The Sept. 28 summit convened diverse experts from inside and outside government to summarize knowledge gaps, clarify challenges to improving diagnosis and identify areas of potential future research. Access the proceedings and Dr. Arnold's editorial (PDF Files) for more about this emerging patient safety topic.

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).

New AHRQ Publication Highlights Research on Improving Patient Safety and Reducing Medical Liability

A new online publication from AHRQ highlights results from a number of AHRQ-funded planning and demonstration grants aimed at improving patient safety and malpractice outcomes, as well as the environment in which those outcomes occur. Among topics included in Advances in Patient Safety and Medical Liability: the role of patients and families in supporting improved care and patient safety; the harmful impact of institutional silence when patient harm occurs; the use of different types of reporting systems; and implementation of disclosure, apology and offer programs. Activities and findings from the initiative have laid the groundwork for future patient safety and medical liability projects.

Journal Article: Ensuring the Safety of Health Information Technology Is a Shared Responsibility

An article by AHRQ-funded authors urges that health information technology (IT) vendors, care providers, health care organizations, health IT departments, and public and private agencies take complementary roles and share responsibility in improving patient safety related to the use of electronic health records (EHR). The authors, writing in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, use real-world examples to guide development of rules, regulations and standards for EHR usability, interoperability and security. The article follows a 2011 Institute of Medicine report on health IT and patient safety that defined the responsibilities of each party and suggests measures for success. In this article, the authors call on national and international policymakers to take steps to stimulate the adoption of shared responsibility principles. Access the abstract.

Enrollment Open for TeamSTEPPS Online Master Trainer Course

Enroll now for AHRQ's TeamSTEPPS® Online Master Trainer Course, which begins Aug. 23. The course is self-paced and continuing education/continuing medical education accredited. Once enrolled, participants have 120 days from the course start date to complete it. Before enrolling, potential participants should review the readiness assessment checklist to understand their organization's level of readiness to initiate the TeamSTEPPS program. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based teamwork system aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Barriers to emergency physician diagnosis and treatment of uncontrolled chronic hypertension. Brody AM, Sharma VK, Singh A, et al. Am J Emerg Med 2016 Nov;34(11):2241-42. Epub 2016 Aug 27. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Preference weights for the spectrum of alcohol use in the U.S. population. Chavez LJ, Bradley K, Tefft N, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend 2016 Apr 1;161:206-13. Epub 2016 Feb 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association between choice of radical prostatectomy, external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy, or active surveillance and patient-reported quality of life among men with localized prostate cancer. Chen RC, Basak R, Meyer AM, et al. JAMA 2017 Mar 21;317(11):1141-50. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Laser treatment of infantile hemangioma: a systematic review. Chinnadurai S, Sathe NA, Surawicz T. Lasers Surg Med 2016 Mar;48(3):221-33. Epub 2015 Dec 29. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Meaningful use care coordination criteria: perceived barriers and benefits among primary care providers. Cohen GR, Adler-Milstein J. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2016 Apr;23(e1):e146-51. Epub 2015 Nov 13. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Treatment motivation among caregivers and adolescents with substance use disorders. Cornelius T, Earnshaw VA, Menino D, et al. J Subst Abuse Treat 2017 Apr;75:10-16. Epub 2017 Jan 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A web-based, patient-centered toolkit to engage patients and caregivers in the acute care setting: a preliminary evaluation. Dalal AK, Dykes PC, Collins S, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2016 Jan;23(1):80-7. Epub 2015 Aug 2. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Implementing the patient-centered medical home in complex adaptive systems: becoming a relationship-centered patient-centered medical home. Flieger SP. Health Care Manage Rev 2016 Apr/Jun;42(2):112-21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: AHRQ Deputy Director Calls Improving Diagnosis the ‘Next Critical Leap’ in Patient Safety. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/579.html