New Research Compares Medications for Preventing Strokes Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

Issue 638
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
October 30, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Number of Health Care Practitioners

In 2017, there were 951,000 active medical doctors in the United States. In 2016 (the latest year for which statistics were available), there were 2.9 million registered nurses, 2.4 million health technologists and 2.6 million nursing and other aides. An additional 361,000 health practitioners provided care, including more than 104,000 physician assistants. (Source: AHRQ, 2017 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.

Today's Headlines:

New Research Compares Medications for Preventing Strokes Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

A new systematic review conducted by AHRQ in partnership with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) finds that blood thinners known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are as safe and effective as warfarin for treating patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke. Atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia that increases risk of stroke, is commonly treated with blood thinners, particularly warfarin. Researchers reviewed data from 220 journal articles and found that DOACs dabigatran and apixaban were superior while rivaroxaban and edoxaban were similar to warfarin in the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism. Access the AHRQ/PCORI evidence review, a study based on the review in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and AHRQ resources that support the safe use of blood thinners.

AHRQ Views Blog Post—With First-Phase Winners Identified in Step Up App Challenge, the Competition Intensifies!

AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., recognizes the 10 winners from the first phase of the AHRQ Step Up App Challenge. More than 50 contestants entered the competition to develop an easy-to-use app that allows for the integration of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data into clinical care and research. Insights from PRO data can help clinicians provide safer, higher value care. The competition has three phases that proceed from the development of a business proposal, to development of the app, and finally, to testing the winning app in nine practice settings. Cash prizes will be awarded at each phase, with the grand prize winner receiving as much as $87,000. Access the blog post.

Featured Case Study: Connecticut Hospital Reduces Emergency Wait Time, Adverse Events Using AHRQ Tools

Bridgeport Hospital, a 383-bed safety net hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, used two AHRQ tools to improve care. With AHRQ’s Door-to-Doc Patient Safety Toolkit, the hospital reduced emergency department wait times to 21 minutes, while AHRQ’s Safety Attitudes Questionnaire contributed to facilitywide improvements in patient safety culture, leading to an 86 percent decline in serious safety events. Access the Impact Case Study

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). 

Featured Studies on the Nation's Health Systems

AHRQ's Comparative Health System Performance Initiative funds studies about how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices and patient-centered outcomes research in delivering care. Publications include:

Access the initiative's Compendium of U.S. Health Systems, 2016, the first publicly available database that gives researchers, policymakers and health care administrators a snapshot of the nation's health systems.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Drug-free interventions to reduce pain or opioid consumption after total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Tedesco D, Gori D, Desai KR, et al. JAMA Surg 2017 Oct 18;152(10):e172872. Epub 2017 Oct 18. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effectiveness of fundoplication or gastrojejunal feeding in children with neurologic impairment. Stone B, Hester G, Jackson D, et al. Hosp Pediatr 2017 Mar;7(3):140-8. Epub 2017 Feb 3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Variation in functional status after hip fracture: facility and regional influence on mobility and self-care. Teppala S, Ottenbacher KJ, Eschbach K, et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2017 Oct;72(10):1376-82. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

If you build it, they will come: initial experience with a multi-disciplinary pediatric neurocritical care follow-up clinic. Williams CN, Kirby A, Piantino J. Children (Basel) 2017 Sep 19;4(9). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The longitudinal association between early childhood obesity and fathers' involvement in caregiving and decision-making. Wong MS, Jones-Smith JC, Colantuoni E, et al. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2017 Oct;25(10):1754-61. Epub 2017 Jun 21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association of insurance gains and losses with access to prescription drugs. Yabroff KR, Kirby J, Zodet M. JAMA Intern Med 2017 Oct 1;177(10):1531-2. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Facilitating partner support for lifestyle change among adults with serious mental illness: a feasibility pilot study. Aschbrenner KA, Mueser KT, Naslund JA, et al. Community Ment Health J 2017 May;53(4):394-404. Epub 2017 Feb 7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

"We're almost guests in their clinical care": inpatient provider attitudes toward chronic disease management. Blecker S, Meisel T, Dickson VV, et al. J Hosp Med 2017 Mar;12(3):162-7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed October 2018
Page originally created October 2018
Internet Citation: New Research Compares Medications for Preventing Strokes Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation . Content last reviewed October 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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