Opioid Overdose Medication May Be Effective When Taken Nasally or Injected

Issue #593
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
November 28, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Climb in Dental Coverage

Seventy-one percent of the U.S. community population had private or public dental coverage in 2015, up from 64 percent in 1996. (Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Research Findings #38: Dental Services: Use, Expenses, Source of Payment, Coverage and Procedure Type, 1996-2015.)

Today's Headlines:

Opioid Overdose Medication May Be Effective When Taken Nasally or Injected

Naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug for people who overdose on opioids, may be similarly effective whether inhaled or injected, a new AHRQ-funded study found. Naloxone blocks the harmful effects of an overdose when taken immediately after an opioid is ingested. The medication is often administered by emergency medical service (EMS) workers or laypeople; however, guidelines remain sparse related to dosing, the method of administration and care afterwards. The study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, examined published literature on different doses and methods of administration. It found that a high-concentration dose of naloxone taken through the nose shows effectiveness similar to when it is injected, but that more research is needed to understand different dosages and follow-up care. Access the abstract. The study was based on a new AHRQ comparative effectiveness review that examined ideal dosages and delivery of naloxone by EMS workers.

New Patient Safety Primer Reviews Challenges to Improving Clinician Performance

While many successful patient safety improvement efforts target system performance, less is known about strategies to address safety issues with individual clinicians, according to a new primer from the AHRQ Patient Safety Network. For example, it is not clear how many physicians pose safety risks because they lack necessary skills. Disciplinary actions may be effective, but many clinicians are reluctant to report impaired colleagues. And little research has addressed safety improvements for clinicians other than physicians. Future research should not only define clinician factors that lead to adverse events but also measure the skill and professional competence of non-physician members of the health care team, according to the primer.

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).

TeamSTEPPS for Office-Based Care Online Course: No-Cost CE/CME Available

Register now for AHRQ’s free TeamSTEPPS® for Office-Based Care Online course, which focuses on enhancing communication and teamwork skills among office-based professionals to improve patient safety and quality. Participants may begin pre-course work now and will earn no-cost continuing education for each activity completed. Master trainer certificates will be awarded for completing all course requirements. TeamSTEPPS for Office-Based Care offers techniques, tools and strategies to assist health care professionals in developing and optimizing team knowledge and performance in medical office settings. It is a full version of TeamSTEPPS intended for individuals who play a key role in leading and assisting office-based practices with quality improvement and practice transformation efforts. To learn more, watch the onboarding video or email questions to obc-questions@tslms.org.

AHRQ Researchers Recommend Updates to Health Information Technology Safety Strategies

An AHRQ-sponsored commentary in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety provides recommendations to help patient safety professionals use updated federal guidelines to assess the safety of health information technology (IT) equipment and software. Initially released in January 2014, the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides were developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. They were designed to ensure the safe use of electronic health records by addressing safety in nine areas, including patient identification, contingency planning, system configuration, test results reporting and clinician communication. Recommendations in the commentary include prioritizing health IT-related safety by refocusing an organization’s clinical governance structure to enable proactive risk assessment, as well as developing an environment conducive to detecting and learning from system vulnerabilities identified during SAFER assessments. Access the commentary.

AHRQ Seeks Applications for Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Projects

AHRQ has funding available for large research projects in two areas: preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and efforts for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (CARB). The application deadline for both of these funding opportunities is Feb. 5, 2018. The HAI research projects should advance the knowledge of HAI detection, prevention and reduction of HAIs. CARB research project proposals should address ways to promote appropriate antibiotic use, reduce the transmission of resistant bacteria or prevent HAIs in the first place. These funding opportunities are open to researchers who focus on health care settings including long-term care, ambulatory care, acute care hospitals and transitions between care settings. Meanwhile, companion funding opportunities are also available for demonstration and dissemination projects for both HAI and CARB. The deadline for these applications is Jan. 25, 2018. Access additional details about the funding opportunities and AHRQ's HAI program.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Limitations of a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR) and suggestions for improvement. Burda BU, Holmer HK, Norris SL. Syst Rev 2016 Apr 12;5:58. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Screening for celiac disease: evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Chou R, Bougatsos C, Blazina I, et al. JAMA 2017 Mar 28;317(12):1258-68. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Associations between hematopoietic growth factors and risks of venous thromboembolism, stroke, ischemic heart disease and myelodysplastic syndrome: findings from a large population-based cohort of women with breast cancer. Du XL, Zhang Y, Hardy D. Cancer Causes Control 2016 May;27(5):695-707. Epub 2016 Apr 8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effect of clinical and attitudinal characteristics on obtaining comprehensive medication reviews. Farris KB, Salgado TM, Aneese N, et al. J Manag Care Spec Pharm 2016 Apr;22(4):388-95. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Application of a framework for determining number of drugs. Goedken AM, Lund BC, Cook EA, et al. BMC Res Notes 2016 May 13;9:272. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association between physician teamwork and health system outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting. Hollingsworth JM, Funk RJ, Garrison SA, et al. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2016 Nov;9(6):641-48. Epub 2016 Nov 8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Colorectal cancer: quality of surgical care in Michigan. Kanters A, Mullard AJ, Arambula J, et al. Am J Surg 2017 Mar;213(3):548-52. Epub 2016 Nov 27. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Research letter: impact of pruritus on quality of life—a systematic review. Kantor R, Dalal P, Cella D, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2016 Nov;75(5):885-86.e4. Epub 2016 Aug 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed November 2017
Page originally created November 2017
Internet Citation: Opioid Overdose Medication May Be Effective When Taken Nasally or Injected. Content last reviewed November 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/593.html