AHRQ Report Shows Some Mobile Apps Improve Diabetes Patients’ Health, but Hundreds Remain Unstudied

Issue 615
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
May 15, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Retention of Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage

About 77 percent of people who had Health Insurance Marketplace coverage in December 2014 retained their coverage in December 2015. (Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #510, Transitions in Health Insurance Status: Longitudinal Data from the MEPS-Household Component, 2013-2015.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Report Shows Some Mobile Apps Improve Diabetes Patients’ Health, but Hundreds Remain Unstudied

A new AHRQ report on smart phone applications to help people with diabetes manage their health found that, although consumers have access to hundreds of apps for diabetes management, only a few of these technologies have been evaluated for their effectiveness. An article based on AHRQ’s report was published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. While five apps were shown to improve levels of HbA1c, other apps studied were shown either to reduce episodes of blood sugar levels being too high or too low; reduce low blood sugar episodes while reducing triglyceride levels and improving treatment satisfaction; or improve blood glucose levels, diabetes knowledge and self-care behaviors. Access the article abstract and press release.

Report Showcases Recent AHRQ-Funded Research in Health Information Technology

A new report on AHRQ’s 2017 health information technology research activities highlights grantees’ work to improve the usability of electronic health records (EHRs), methods for learning about EHR-related safety concerns, and advances in the design and use of clinical decision support technologies. Research highlights include projects to explore how to help doctors and nurses quickly find new and relevant information in EHR clinical notes, as well as an assessment of safety huddles as a strategy to identify EHR-related safety concerns. Access the report to learn more.

New AHRQ Views Blog Post: AHRQ Employees Exemplify Public Service

As part of Public Service Recognition Week, AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., highlights the accomplishments of AHRQ staff members recently honored for their ongoing work to improve the health of all Americans. James Cleeman, M.D., Director of the Division of Healthcare-Associated Infections in AHRQ’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, was honored by HHS Secretary Alex Azar on May 9 during the 2016–2017 HHS Departmental Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Dr. Cleeman received the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for more than 40 years of work at HHS. Additional AHRQ employees were recognized for contributions to the Task Force on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Office of the Secretary’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Portfolio Team. Access the blog post.

AHRQ Study: About Half of Adults Are Screened for Depression

Approximately half of adults are being screened for depression even though the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends universal screening, according to a new AHRQ study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey showed that, among adults 35 and older in 2014-15, depression screening was less likely for patients who were male, older than 75, racial minorities, uninsured or had a high school education or less. Access the abstract.

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).

Studies on Antibiotic Stewardship Lack Clinicwide Approach

Ambulatory care practices seeking to improve their use of antibiotics may benefit by investigating their entire work system – through an approach called human factors engineering – rather than isolated interventions, according to an AHRQ-funded research review. Human factors engineering explores interactions between people and their work environment. Increasing attention has been focused on antibiotic stewardship, which promotes appropriate antibiotic use by prescribers and patients. The new AHRQ analysis, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, cited research findings on successful interventions ranging from the use of clinical decision support, to clinician education, to delayed antibiotic prescribing. Examining these factors in an engineering framework may help ambulatory care practices choose antibiotic stewardship interventions best suited to their resources. Access the abstract.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Framing mechanisms linking HIV-related stigma, adherence to treatment, and health outcomes. Turan B, Hatcher AM, Weiser SD, et al. Am J Public Health 2017 Jun;107(6):863-9. Epub 2017 Apr 20. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A review of cost communication in oncology: patient attitude, provider acceptance, and outcome assessment. Shih YT, Chien CR. Cancer 2017 May 15;123(6):928-39. Epub 2016 Nov 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association of β-blockers with functional outcomes, death, and rehospitalization in older nursing home residents after acute myocardial infarction. Steinman MA, Zullo AR, Lee Y, et al. JAMA Intern Med 2017 Feb 1;177(2):254-62. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Intussusception rates before and after the introduction of rotavirus vaccine. Tate JE, Yen C, Steiner CA, et al. Pediatrics 2016 Sep;138(3). Epub 2016 Aug 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Variation in family experience of pediatric inpatient care as measured by Child HCAHPS. Toomey SL, Elliott MN, Zaslavsky AM, et al. Pediatrics 2017 Apr;139(4). Epub 2017 Mar 22. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Pilot evaluation of a brief intervention to improve nicotine patch adherence among smokers living with HIV/AIDS. Tucker JS, Shadel WG, Galvan FH, et al. Psychol Addict Behav 2017 Mar;31(2):148-53. Epub 2016 Oct 13. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Intensive care unit admission and survival among older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, or myocardial infarction. Valley TS, Sjoding MW, Ryan AM, et al. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2017 Jun;14(6):943-51. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Identification of emergency department visits in Medicare administrative claims: approaches and implications. Venkatesh AK, Mei H, Kocher KE, et al. Acad Emerg Med 2017 Apr;24(4):422-31. Epub 2017 Mar 17. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed May 2018
Page originally created May 2018
Internet Citation: AHRQ Report Shows Some Mobile Apps Improve Diabetes Patients’ Health, but Hundreds Remain Unstudied. Content last reviewed May 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/615.html
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