New AHRQ Views Blog Posts

Issue 612
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
April 24, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Most Common Surgical Procedures

The most common surgical procedures in 2014 were cesarean section (1.2 million), circumcision (1 million) and arthroplasty of the knee (750,000). (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #233: Overview of Operating Room Procedures During Inpatient Stays in U.S. Hospitals, 2014.)

Today's Headlines:

New AHRQ Views Blog Posts

AHRQ Keeps Working To Reduce Health Disparities—In recognition of April as National Minority Health Month, Francis Chesley, M.D., AHRQ Acting Deputy Director and Director of the Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations, reflects on ways that AHRQ tracks successes and meets challenges in addressing disparities in health and health care services. Dr. Chesley highlights the agency’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, which provides an annual, comprehensive report card on health care quality, as well as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, which offer regular data snapshots that often reveal disparities in care. The agency’s efforts to understand and address disparities-based barriers to care also include research investments and the development of tools and training materials for health professionals.

Engage With AHRQ at the 2018 Health Datapalooza Conference—AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., looks forward to AHRQ’s free pre-conference session at AcademyHealth's upcoming 2018 Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. He invites data experts and others to attend "AHRQ Data Competencies to Support Decision Makers: What Do You Need To Make Decisions at the State and Local Levels to Improve Health Care?” The listening session on April 25, from 1 to 5 p.m., will precede Datapalooza, which is April 26-27. The session will allow attendees to learn more about AHRQ's data activities and discuss opportunities for better use of data to support health care decision-makers. Datapalooza will also include an April 26 presentation by Ed Lomotan, M.D., AHRQ's Chief of Clinical Informatics, on the agency’s CDS Connect project.

Study Finds No Link Between Extended Emergency Department Delays and Adverse Patient Outcomes

Emergency department (ED) patients subjected to “boarding”—holding a patient in the ED for more than 4 hours before hospital admission—were not more likely to experience adverse outcomes than patients who were not boarded, according to an AHRQ-funded study. Researchers examined outcomes of nearly 31,500 patients, including about 4,000 patients who were boarded, at an urban hospital between 2013 and 2015. Boarded patients were no more likely than other patients to experience any of three common adverse outcomes: rapid response team activation, escalation in care or mortality. Access the abstract of the study, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

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).

Affordable Care Act Coverage More Likely Among People Uninsured For Shorter Periods

People who were uninsured for one year or less were significantly more likely to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) compared with people who had been uninsured for longer periods, an AHRQ study concluded. Researchers used AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey responses of nearly 2,000 uninsured people in December 2013 to predict how many were able to get coverage during 2014. They found 55 percent of people who were uninsured for a year or less obtained insurance coverage in 2014 under state Medicaid expansions, from ACA Marketplaces or through private insurance. That compared with 45 percent who obtained insurance after being uninsured for more than a year but fewer than three years, 35 percent who were uninsured three years or longer and 20 percent who never had health insurance. Access the abstract of the study, which was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Updated Guide Helps Improve Safety in Primary Care Settings

AHRQ’s updated Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families features strategies for patients and families, clinicians and primary care clinical staff to improve communication. Evidence suggests that enhanced communication leads to significant improvements in patient safety, the quality of care and patient experiences. The guide also features advice from practices from across the country that implemented the interventions. Access the guide.

Register Now for Spring Online Course in TeamSTEPPS Safety Training

Registration is open for a free TeamSTEPPS® training course 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 credits 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 develop and optimize team knowledge and performance in a medical office setting.

Featured Case Study: Los Angeles County Health Center Uses AHRQ Survey To Shorten Wait Times

Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a Los Angeles County federally qualified health center, used an AHRQ survey to solicit patient feedback and develop strategies to reduce wait times. Data from AHRQ’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems® Clinician & Group Survey and additional patient comments helped officials reduce wait times to 15 minutes or less for nearly half their patients. Access the Impact Case Study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

After the demonstration: what states sustained after the end of federal grants to improve children's health care quality. Ireys HT, Brach C, Anglin G, et al. Matern Child Health J 2018 Feb;22(2):195-203. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Characterizing New England emergency departments by telemedicine use. Zachrison KS, Hayden EM, Schwamm LH, et al. West J Emerg Med 2017 Oct;18(6):1055-60. Epub 2017 Sep 11. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Newly eligible enrollees in Medicaid spend less and use less care than those previously eligible. Jacobs PD, Kenney GM, Selden TM. Health Aff (Millwood) 2017 Sep 1;36(9):1637-42. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

5 nursing strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia. Boltey E, Yakusheva O, Costa DK. Am Nurse Today 2017 Jun;12(6):42-3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Reexamining the association of body mass index with overall survival outcomes after liver transplantation. Chang SH, Liu X, Carlsson NP, et al. Transplant Direct 2017 Jun 12;3(7):e172. eCollection 2017 Jul. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Impact of a value-based formulary in three chronic disease cohorts. Yeung K, Basu A, Marcum ZA, et al. Am J Manag Care 2017 Mar;23(3 Suppl):S46-S53. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The economic value of long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying implementation in Mozambique. Lee BY, Bartsch SM, Stone NTB, et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2017 Jun;96(6):1430-40. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Spending on care after surgery driven by choice of care settings instead of intensity of services. Chen LM, Norton EC, Banerjee M, et al. Health Aff (Millwood) 2017 Jan 1;36(1):83-90. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed April 2018
Page originally created April 2018
Internet Citation: New AHRQ Views Blog Posts. Content last reviewed April 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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