AHRQ Provides Resources To Aid Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Issue 580
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 30, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Decreasing Uninsurance

From 2010 to 2016, the overall rate of uninsured people under age 65 decreased from 18 percent to 11 percent. (Source: AHRQ, 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.)  

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Provides Resources To Aid Hurricane Recovery Efforts

In support of federal efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey, AHRQ has reissued a pair of resources to help public health officials and clinicians ensure that patients receive medical services under challenging circumstances. The Surge Toolkit and Facility Checklist provides practical tools for opening shuttered hospitals when an emergency is underway and additional facilities are needed for treating patients. In addition, AHRQ has reissued Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide, a resource to help officials confirm when it’s necessary to evacuate a medical facility regardless of its usefulness in providing patient care. These resources are available on a new AHRQ Web page devoted to these tools and others. Access a new blog post by AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., to learn more about AHRQ’s recovery resources. For more details about federal recovery activities, access the HHS Web site.

Handoff Improvement Program Results in Patient Safety Gains

Implementation of I-PASS – an evidence-based program designed to teach, evaluate and improve patient handoffs between providers and settings – has led to substantial gains in patient safety and can be applied to a variety of disciplines and types of handoffs, according to new research partially funded by AHRQ. Researchers and clinicians developed I-PASS to reduce medical errors and adverse events associated with handoff communication failures. When initially implemented in nine pediatric hospital units, I-PASS was associated with a 30 percent reduction in injuries and significant improvements in handoff processes. AHRQ subsequently funded the I-PASS Mentored Implementation Program to adapt and implement I-PASS to other clinical settings and types of providers across 35 hospitals. Sixteen hospitals that have completed implementation showed significant improvements in the quality of handoffs, as well as significant reductions in handoff-related adverse events. Implementation is underway at the other 19 hospitals. Authors of the new study, published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, concluded that widespread implementation of I-PASS has the potential to substantially improve patient safety in the United States and beyond. Access the study abstract. The research follows the development of an intervention on “warm handoffs” that will become part of AHRQ’s Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families. Warm handoffs are those that occur transparently in the presence of patients and family members.

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 Research and Evidence From AHRQ

New Spanish-language translations of AHRQ research summaries for consumers:

New AHRQ Views Blog Post

Organizations Develop Programs Aligned With National Health Improvement Strategies

The National Quality Strategy (NQS), established as a catalyst to improve and measure the nation’s health care quality, has highlighted the successes of four groups whose programs support national health care improvement priorities:

  • Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety Network, an effort by children’s hospitals to eliminate harm to hospitalized children, has expanded to more than 100 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada and has saved an estimated 7,000 children from serious medical harm.
  • San Francisco Hep B Free, a community partnership that aims to eliminate hepatitis B in San Francisco’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, reached more than 1,100 providers in efforts to increase awareness about the virus as well as the importance of routine screening and vaccinations.
  • More than five dozen Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams, developed to eliminate barriers to quality health care among veterans, provided more than 25,000 veterans with services in 2016, including hygiene care, meals and enrollment in primary medical care.
  • SisterLove, Inc., created to educate African-American women in Atlanta about HIV/AIDS prevention, self-help and safer-sex techniques, developed a workshop model that significantly increased consistent condom use and HIV testing while improving attitudes about condom use and overall HIV knowledge.

Learn more about the NQS’s six quality improvement priorities.

Featured Case Study: Dignity Health Uses AHRQ Guide To Reduce Venous Thromboembolisms

San Francisco-based Dignity Health used AHRQ’s Preventing Hospital-Associated Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) guide as part of a systemwide effort that prevented 330 VTEs between 2012 and 2013. Compliance with Joint Commission VTE protocols were in the low 70 percent range in 2012, but increased to the mid-90 percent range by May 2013. Access the impact case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Individual physician penalties resulting from violation of Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act: a review of Office of the Inspector General patient dumping settlements, 2002-2015. Terp S, Wang B, Raffetto B, et al. Acad Emerg Med 2017 Apr;24(4):442-6. Epub 2017 Mar 17. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Identifying moderators of response to the Penn Resiliency Program: a synthesis study. Brunwasser SM, Gillham JE. Prev Sci 2016 Jan 12. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

An evidence-based medicine approach to antihyperglycemic therapy in diabetes mellitus to overcome overtreatment. Makam AN, Nguyen OK. Circulation 2017 Jan 10;135(2):180-95. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Adults are more likely to become eligible for Medicaid during future recessions if their state expanded Medicaid. Jacobs PD, Hill SC, Abdus S. Health Aff (Millwood). 2017 Jan 1;36(1):32-9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A systems approach to obesity. Lee BY, Bartsch SM, Mui Y, et al. Nutr Rev. 2017 Jan;75(suppl 1):94-106. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Improving diagnostic safety in primary care by unlocking digital data. Singh H. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017 Jan;43(1):29-31. Epub 2016 Oct 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A systems approach to vaccine decision making. Lee BY, Mueller LE, Tilchin CG. Vaccine 2017 Jan 20;35 Suppl 1:A36-A42. Epub 2016 Dec 22. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association of statins with aortic, peripheral, and visceral artery aneurysm development. Mansi IA, Frei CR, Halm EA, et al. Vascular 2017 Aug;25(4):372-81. Epub 2016 Dec 20. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: AHRQ Provides Resources To Aid Hurricane Recovery Efforts. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/580.html