HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir Cites AHRQ’s Data Activities in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Issue 643
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
December 4, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Colorectal Surgery Deaths

The 30-day mortality rate after colorectal surgery in 2017 was lower for Hispanics (2.2 percent) compared with whites (2.8 percent) or blacks (3.5 percent). (Source: AHRQ, 2017 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report Chartbook on Patient Safety.)

Today's Headlines:

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir Cites AHRQ’s Data Activities in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Recently released statistics from AHRQ showing that about 25,000 babies were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome in 2016 are being used to guide national efforts to understand and quell the opioid epidemic, said Adm. Brett G. Giroir, M.D., HHS assistant secretary for health. Giroir said data resources from AHRQ are among essential tools to understand the scope of the public health emergency. Recent work from the agency’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) showed the national rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome nearly tripled between 2008 and 2015. Additional HCUP analyses have tracked opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits according to patient location, income, sex and age. “Better data are very important” as one element of HHS’ 5-Point strategy to combat the crisis, said Giroir, speaking last week at the AHRQ Patient Safety Organization's Summit to Address the Opioid Crisis. “If we don’t have data and know what’s going on, we can’t…know how effective our strategies are.”

AHRQ Launches New Online Resource To Help Primary Care Practices Implement Evidence

Tools for Change, a new resource from AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW project, is designed to help primary care practices and practice facilitators search among 100 tools and resources to increase their use of evidence and improve patient care. A quality improvement framework—the EvidenceNOW Key Driver Diagram—helps users to target change strategies such as selecting and customizing the best evidence, creating and supporting high functioning teams, and engaging patients and families in evidence-based care. Tools for Change is an outgrowth of EvidenceNOW, an initiative launched in 2015 that used practice facilitators to work with more than 1,500 small- and medium-sized primary care practices nationwide to improve heart health. 

AHRQ Views Blog Post: Advancing the Science of Moving Research Into Practice

In a new blog post, AHRQ Chief Medical Officer David Meyers, M.D., highlights the importance of this week’s Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth. Numerous AHRQ staff members and grantees will present posters or participate in discussions at the event, which each year brings together dissemination and implementation scientists, health services researchers, clinicians, C-suite executives, policymakers, public health advocates and others committed to the spread of innovation and increased use of evidence in clinical care.

Pre-Surgery “Treat-All” Approach Works Best for Preventing Staph Infections

A regimen of using antibacterial showers, mouthwash and nasal ointment preparations before surgery for all adult patients is more effective and cost-saving compared with only treating patients who test positive for Staphylococcus aureus (SA), or providing usual care consisting of disinfectant soap showers, according to a new AHRQ-supported study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The analysis, based partly on data from an AHRQ-supported randomized trial, found that the "treat-all" approach resulted in the fewest surgical site infections and the lowest costs compared with only treating those who tested positive for SA or only received usual care. Compared with usual care, estimated savings for each surgical site infection prevented were $21,929 for "treat-all" and $15,166 for "test-and-treat." Researchers recommended future clinical trials should more fully quantify comparative benefits and harms associated with the different infection prevention strategies. 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). 

Featured Impact Case Study: California Hospital Reduced Infections and Improved Diabetes Care With AHRQ Safety Program

Tri-City Medical Center, a 388-bed hospital in Oceanside, California, reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections by 33 percent and improved the on-time delivery of insulin to patients by 55 percent after changing patient care practices based on strategies from AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program. Access the Impact Case Study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Allergy entry and deletion in the electronic health record. Blumenthal KG, Acker WW, Li Y, et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2017 Mar;118(3):380-1. Epub 2017 Jan 23. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Model averaged double robust estimation. Cefalu M, Dominici F, Arvold N, et al. Biometrics 2017 Jun;73(2):410-21. Epub 2016 Nov 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effectiveness of a pediatric primary care intervention to increase maternal folate use: results from a cluster randomized controlled trial. Chilukuri N, Cheng TL, Psoter KJ, et al. J Pediatr 2018 Jan;192:247-52.e1. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

State variation in quality outcomes and disparities in outcomes in community health centers. Cole MB, Wilson IB, Trivedi AN. Med Care 2017 Dec;55(12):1001-7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Choosing Wisely campaign: valuable for providers who knew about it, but awareness remained constant, 2014-17. Colla CH, Mainor AJ. Health Aff (Millwood) 2017 Nov;36(11):2005-11. Epub 2017 Oct 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Examining psychotropic medication use among youth in the U.S. by race/ethnicity and psychological impairment. Cook BL, Carson NJ, Kafali EN, et al. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2017 Mar-Apr;45:32-9. Epub 2016 Dec 15. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Severe food insecurity is associated with overweight and increased body fat among people living with HIV in the Dominican Republic. Derose KP, Ríos-Castillo I, Fulcar MA, et al. AIDS Care 2018 Feb;30(2):182-90. Epub 2017 Jul 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Large health systems' prevention guideline implementation: a qualitative study. Doherty JA, Crelia SJ, Smith MW, et al. Am J Prev Med 2018 Jan;54(1s1):S88-S94. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

For comments or questions about AHRQ News Now, contact Bruce Seeman at Bruce.Seeman@ahrq.hhs.gov or 301-427-1998.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, email: updates@subscriptions.ahrq.gov. For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Page last reviewed December 2018
Page originally created December 2018
Internet Citation: HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir Cites AHRQ’s Data Activities in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic. Content last reviewed December 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/643.html
Back To Top