AHRQ Funds Grants To Support the Next Generation of Learning-Health-System Researchers

Issue 633
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
September 25, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Disparities in Health Care

About three-fifths of health care quality measures improved overall between 2000 and 2014–2015 for Hispanics. But in 2014–2015, nearly one-third of quality measures remained worse for Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites. (Source: AHRQ, 2017 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Funds Grants To Support the Next Generation of Learning-Health-System Researchers

AHRQ and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today announced $40 million in grants over five years to 11 institutions to support the training of clinician and research scientists to conduct patient-centered outcomes research within learning health systems (LHS). The institutions funded under this initiative will produce the next generation of LHS researchers to conduct, apply and implement patient-centered outcomes research to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. Newly trained clinician and research scientists will work within health systems by collaborating with health systems leaders and conducting studies to address health systems research questions in order to improve patient outcomes. Access the press release.

Updated State Snapshots Identify Variations in Health Care Quality

Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Massachusetts were the nation’s five top-performing States in updated assessments of health care quality, according to AHRQ’s 2017 online State Snapshots. The interactive resource evaluates States based on more than 250 performance measures of health care quality and access, and is updated annually. Drawn from the most recently available data from AHRQ’s 2017 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR), the State Snapshots show how each State fared according to access to care, type of care, setting of care, prevalence of diseases and conditions, health status of priority populations, and insurance status. The 2017 QDR shows that nationwide, from 2000 through 2016, almost 70 percent of person-centered care measures were improving, but 80 percent of care affordability measures remained the same. The State Snapshots reveal specific variations across States, including sizable disparities related to race, ethnicity, income and other factors. Learn more from a new AHRQ Views blog post and an infographic.

New AHRQ Grantee Profile: Matthew Weinger, M.D., Uses Simulation To Improve Patient Care

Our newest grantee profile examines how AHRQ-funded simulation research by Matthew Weinger, M.D., professor of anesthesiology, biomedical informatics and medical education at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has helped improve patient care and clinician performance. Dr. Weinger developed simulation-based interventions that have demonstrated and addressed the impact that performance-shaping factors, such as distractions and miscommunication, have on anesthesiology care. His current AHRQ-funded project focuses on decision-making strategies of practicing anesthesiologists and is expected to generate best practice guidelines on decision-making and decision support for critical event management. Access his profile and those of other AHRQ grantees who have made major advances in health services research.

AHRQ Views Blog Post—Pulling Back the Curtain on the Casualties of Today's Opioids Crisis

Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., cites the opioid epidemic’s impact on both young and older Americans while emphasizing the agency's support of this year’s HHS Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. A press release highlighted AHRQ reports that quantify the percentage of seniors who use opioids and the high number of seniors who have needed opioid-related hospital care. A new infographic, meanwhile, illustrates the high numbers of babies born with opioid dependency. A refreshed AHRQ Web site features updated data, research findings and tools for clinicians and delivery system leaders to improve patient care. Access the blog post.

Register Now for Oct. 3 FDA Webinar on Safe Duodenoscope Reprocessing

A free FDA webinar on Oct. 3 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET will provide background for health care professionals interested in participating in a study to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of duodenoscope manufacturers’ reprocessing instructions. Duodenoscopes, which are flexible, lighted tubes threaded through the mouth, throat and stomach, are used to drain fluids from pancreatic and biliary ducts. The FDA's ongoing study is intended to support a partnership between the FDA and manufacturers to address the public health concern of infections associated with contaminated scopes. The webinar is open to nurses, risk managers, infection control practitioners, physicians, surgeons and other professionals from health care facilities that perform endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography procedures. To register, email medsun@fda.hhs.gov and include “Attention 10/3 Webinar - C,” in the subject line. Please include your name, position or title, email address and phone number. Webinar registrations will be confirmed by email. Questions about continuing education credit may also be emailed to medsun@fda.hhs.gov. Access more information about the FDA’s MedSun network, which is sponsoring the webinar.

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).

Experts Offer Catheter Removal Recommendations for Surgery

A group of experts has recommended that indwelling urinary catheters be used sparingly or removed as soon as possible following surgery. The recommendations, published recently in BMJ Quality & Safety, include input from two panels and follow a literature review of general and orthopedic surgery clinical scenarios. The study was performed with AHRQ funding. Careful use of urinary catheters is an important way to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and related adverse events. The experts recommended that catheters be avoided altogether for procedures such as appendectomy and single knee replacement. The complete set of recommendations is available from the journal. This work stems from an AHRQ-funded project to apply the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to prevent CAUTI in hospitals. A toolkit was developed to help frontline clinicians apply the knowledge learned in that project.   

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Patient-centered outcomes and treatment preferences regarding sexual problems: a qualitative study among midlife women. Thomas HN, Hamm M, Hess R, et al. J Sex Med 2017 Aug;14(8):1011-7. Epub 2017 Jun 21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel. Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017 Jan;139(1):29-44. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effect of colonoscopy outreach vs fecal immunochemical test outreach on colorectal cancer screening completion: a randomized clinical trial. Singal AG, Gupta S, Skinner CS, et al. JAMA 2017 Sep 5;318(9):806-15. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Factors associated with variation in long-term acute care hospital vs skilled nursing facility use among hospitalized older adults. Makam AN, Nguyen OK, Xuan L, et al. JAMA Intern Med 2018 Mar 1;178(3):399-405. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Innovation implementation in the context of hospital QI: lessons learned and strategies for success. Rangachari P. Innov Entrep Health 2018;5:1-14. Epub 2018 Feb 21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Anesthesiology Control Tower: Feasibility Assessment to Support Translation (ACT-FAST)-a feasibility study protocol. Murray-Torres TM, Wallace F, Bollini M, et al. Pilot Feasibility Stud 2018 Jan 25;4:38. eCollection 2018. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effects of a novel mental skills curriculum on surgical novices' attention. Anton NE, Mulji N, Howley LD, et al. J Surg Res 2017 Nov;219:86-91. Epub 2017 Jun 23. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Patient portal usage in pediatric urology: is it meaningful use for everyone? Bush RA, Richardson AC, Cardona-Grau D, et al. Urol Pract 2018 Jul;5(4):279-85. Epub 2017 Jun 3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed September 2018
Page originally created September 2018
Internet Citation: AHRQ Funds Grants To Support the Next Generation of Learning-Health-System Researchers. Content last reviewed September 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/633.html
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