New Toolkit Boosts Safety, Quality of Ambulatory Care Transitions

Issue 597
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
January 9, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Increased Hospital Stays for Hepatitis C

Hospital stays solely to treat hepatitis C increased 49 percent from 2005 to 2014. During the same period, hospital stays to treat hepatitis C in patients with other conditions such as hepatitis B or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) increased by 11 percent. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #232: Characteristics of Inpatient Stays Involving Hepatitis C, 2005-2014.)

Today's Headlines:

New Toolkit Boosts Safety, Quality of Ambulatory Care Transitions

Clinical staff working in ambulatory care settings have a new resource to improve the quality and safety of care transitions, especially for patients with chronic conditions. AHRQ’s Safe Transitions Toolkit provides practical and evidence-based tools to help clinical staff work more effectively with patients for new and follow-up appointments. Resources for patients and caregivers provide added insight about health conditions and how to work with their medical team. Access the toolkit.

AHRQ Studies Quantify Increase in Primary Care Services Provided by Non-Physicians

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have increasingly provided primary care treatment services to Medicare patients over the past decade, according to two AHRQ-funded studies:

  • A study published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health found primary care provided by physicians alone declined from 86 percent to 71 percent from 2008 to 2014. Meanwhile, shared care provided by physicians, NPs or PAs increased from 12 percent to 23 percent. Care from NPs and PAs alone grew from 3 percent to 6 percent. Access the abstract.
  • A study in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners found a 170 percent increase in the number of Medicare patients receiving primary care from NPs alone from 2007 to 2013. Authors found no statistical difference in health status among patients treated by NPs alone as compared with physicians. Access the abstract.

AHRQ Views Blog Post—AHRQ Intensifies the Battle Against Opioid Misuse in 2017, Commits to More Progress in 2018

A new AHRQ Views blog post from Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., describes the agency’s 2017 efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic. AHRQ’s investments included data analyses to better understand the impacts of opioid misuse, research on potential strategies to attack the epidemic and the development of tools and training to support treatment.

Report Shows Diagnostic Asthma Test Is Effective, Particularly in Diagnosing Children With Asthma Symptoms

A new AHRQ report reviewed evidence on the effectiveness of a test used to support the diagnosis of asthma. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Evidence-based Practice Center, who also published an article based on the report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that when patients suspected to have asthma had a positive fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) test, they were more likely to have a confirmed diagnosis of asthma. Other findings show the FeNO test is more accurate in confirming the diagnosis of asthma in children age 5 to 18 and nonsmokers. FeNo results can also predict which patients will respond to inhaled corticosteroids. Access the report, The Clinical Utility of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) in Asthma Management.  

Registration Open For Jan. 11 Webinar on Understanding AHRQ’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Surveys

Register now for a webinar on Jan. 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET that will provide an overview for new users of AHRQ’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Surveys. The CAHPS program promotes assessments of consumers' experiences with their health care. Webinar speakers will explain how CAHPS surveys focus on patients’ priorities and build on current research in survey development and administration. Speakers will review CAHPS survey administration methods and discuss the ways in which organizations use survey results. For questions or comments, contact the CAHPS User Network at or 1-800-492-9261.

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).

Reminder To Submit Abstracts by Jan. 11 for AcademyHealth’s 2018 Annual Research Meeting

The deadline for abstract submissions for AcademyHealth’s 2018 Annual Research Meeting is 5 p.m. ET Jan. 11. The meeting convenes experts in health, health care and policy to share important findings and showcase the latest research on how the health system works, what it costs and how to improve it. There are 21 themes and five abstract submission types: Call for Abstract Sessions; Panels on Critical and Emerging Issues in Health Services Research; Policy Roundtables; Research Panels; and Student Posters. The meeting is June 24-26 in Seattle.

National Cancer Institute Seeks Feedback on Web Portal

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking participants for an online evaluation survey intended to support cancer control and prevention efforts. Survey responses will provide feedback on NCI’s Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. (Plan, Link, Act, Network, with Evidence-based Tools), a Web portal that offers access to data and resources to help planners, program staff and researchers design, implement and evaluate evidence-based cancer control programs. Responses to the 5- to 10-minute survey will remain anonymous.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

The potential cost-effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis combined with HIV vaccines in the United States. Adamson BJS, Carlson JJ, Kublin JG, et al. Vaccines (Basel) 2017 May 24;5(2). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Accuracy of laboratory data communication on ICU daily rounds using an electronic health record. Artis KA, Dyer E, Mohan V, et al. Crit Care Med 2017 Feb;45(2):179-86. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Accountability across the continuum: the participation of postacute care providers in accountable care organizations. Colla CH, Lewis VA, Bergquist SL, et al. Health Serv Res 2016 Aug; 51(4):1595-1611. Epub 2016 Jan 22. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association between Medicare accountable care organization implementation and spending among clinically vulnerable beneficiaries. Colla CH, Lewis VA, Kao LS, et al. JAMA Intern Med 2016 Aug 1; 176(8):1167-75. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Implementation science: a potential catalyst for delivery system reform. Fisher ES, Shortell SM, Savitz LA. JAMA 2016 Jan 26;315(4):339-40. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Determinants of success in Shared Savings Programs: an analysis of ACO and market characteristics. Ouayogodé MH, Colla CH, Lewis VA. Healthc (Amst) 2017 Mar;5(1-2):53-61. Epub 2016 Sep 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

ACOs holding commercial contracts are larger and more efficient than noncommercial ACOs. Peiris D, Phipps-Taylor MC, Stachowski CA, et al. Health Aff (Millwood) 2016 Oct 1; 35(10):1849-56. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Improving medical record retrieval for validation studies in Medicare data. Wright NC, Delzell ES, Smith WK, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2017 Apr;26(4):393-401. Epub 2016 Nov 7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed January 2018
Page originally created January 2018
Internet Citation: New Toolkit Boosts Safety, Quality of Ambulatory Care Transitions. Content last reviewed January 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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