AHRQ's Updated State Snapshots Show Variations in Health Care Quality

Issue 589
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
October 31, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Schizophrenia’s Role in Hospital Admissions

Schizophrenia was the principal diagnosis in more than half of African Americans who were homeless and admitted to hospitals through emergency departments for mental or substance use disorders in 2014. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #229: Characteristics of Homeless Individuals Using Emergency Department Services in 2014.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ’s Updated State Snapshots Show Variations in Health Care Quality

Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine and North Dakota ranked highest among 50 states and the District of Columbia in updated assessments of health care quality, according to AHRQ’s online State Snapshots. The interactive resource evaluates states based on more than 250 measures of health care quality and access. Drawn from the most recently available data in AHRQ’s 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR), the State Snapshots show how each state fared according to prevalence of diseases and conditions; health status of priority populations; insurance status; access to care; type of care and setting of care. While the 2016 QDR shows that overall quality of health care continues to improve gradually each year, the State Snapshots reveal substantial variations across states and sizable disparities related to race, ethnicity, income and other factors. Access a new AHRQ infographic for State Snapshots highlights.

Emergency Department Treatment Soars for Patients With Suicidal Thoughts and Self-Inflicted Injuries

The number of emergency department (ED) visits for suicidal thoughts and intentional self-inflicted injuries increased by 415 percent from 2006 to 2014, according to a recent statistical brief from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. During the same period, the number of ED visits for personality disorders increased by 112 percent, alcohol-related disorders by 76 percent, and substance abuse disorders by 74 percent. The rate of patients treated for mental health or substance abuse who were later admitted to the same hospital increased by 32 percent. Access the statistical brief, Trends in Emergency Department Visits, 2006-2014.

New AHRQ Views Blog Post: Joining the Battle Against Opioid Addiction in Rural Communities

In a new AHRQ Views blog post, Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., provides insights into how agency grantees are working to battle opioid misuse by increasing the delivery of medication-assisted treatment in rural communities in five states. President Trump recently declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. The grants are designed to provide access to treatment for 20,000 people struggling with opioid addiction. In Oklahoma, for example, an AHRQ grantee is helping rural primary care physicians prescribe medications as part of treatment for patients addicted to prescription opioids and heroin. Access the blog post to learn more about the agency’s support for rural communities in the fight against opioid addiction.

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 Study Proposes Fault Tree Analysis To Identify Diagnostic Errors

Fault tree analysis, a technique that originated in private industry to test systems’ reliability and safety, offers promise in identifying factors that lead to medical diagnostic errors, according to a new AHRQ-funded study. Fault tree analysis has been used to reduce errors in high-risk nuclear, aerospace and chemical industries. To explore the usefulness of fault tree analysis in health care, researchers prepared fault trees for 10 patient case histories involving diagnostic errors. Those examples were then synthesized into a single fault tree to show common situations that can lead to diagnostic errors. Researchers found that the visual aspects of fault tree analysis provided a clear, unified illustration of the causes of diagnostic errors. Fault tree analysis also provided a framework for developing algorithms and computer software for the early detection of diagnostic errors, researchers concluded. The study, “Using Fault Trees to Advance Understanding of Diagnostic Errors,” and abstract appeared in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Analysis of health care claims during the peri-transfer stage of transition from pediatric to adult care among juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients. Mannion ML, Xie F, Baddley J, et al. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J 2016 Sep 5;14(1):49. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Pharmacodynamic assessment of vedolizumab for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. McLean LP, Cross RK. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 2016 Jul;12(7):833-42. Epub 2016 May 12. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Variation in 60-day readmission for surgical-site infections (SSIs) and reoperation following spinal fusion operations for neuromuscular scoliosis. McLeod L, Flynn J, Erickson M, et al. J Pediatr Orthop 2016 Sep;36(6):634-9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Readability assessment of patient-provider electronic messages in a primary care setting. Mirsky JB, Tieu L, Lyles C, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2016 Jan;23(1):202-6. Epub 2015 Jul 15. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

In-hospital measurement of left ventricular ejection fraction and one-year outcomes in acute coronary syndromes: results from the IMMEDIATE Trial. Mukherjee JT, Beshansky JR, Ruthazer R, et al. Cardiovasc Ultrasound 2016 Aug 3;14(1):29. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Do race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status affect why we place ear tubes in children? Nieman CL, Tunkel DE, et al. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2016 Sep;88:98-103. Epub 2016 Jun 11. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Food entries in a large allergy data repository. Plasek JM, Goss FR, Lai KH, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2016 Apr;23(e1):e79-87. Epub 2015 Sep 17. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Smartphone applications for mental health. Radovic A, Vona PL, Santostefano AM, et al. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2016 Jul;19(7):465-70. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed October 2017
Page originally created October 2017
Internet Citation: AHRQ's Updated State Snapshots Show Variations in Health Care Quality. Content last reviewed October 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/589.html