Clinicians’ Communication With Patients With Limited English Proficiency Improving

Issue 644
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
December 11, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Opioid-Related Emergency Care for Seniors

Among patients age 65 and older, the number of opioid-related emergency department visits doubled from 18,100 visits in 2010 to 36,200 visits in 2015. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #244: Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Among Patients Aged 65 Years and Older, 2010 and 2015.) 

Today's Headlines:

Clinicians’ Communication With Patients With Limited English Proficiency Improving

Communication between clinicians and patients with limited English proficiency appears to be improving, according to a new AHRQ study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Using data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, researchers reviewed a sample of more than 27,000 U.S. residents studied over 10 years, starting in 2006. They found that starting in 2010, patient-provider communication improved for individuals whose English proficiency was limited, and it narrowed or remained the same for patients who spoke other languages. Specifically, between 2006 and 2010, the percent of limited English-proficient individuals reporting that their provider explained things clearly declined by, on average, 1.4 percentage points per year; after 2010, it increased by 3.0 percentage points per year. However, despite the improvement, the researchers said language and comprehension disparities remain a formidable challenge. Access the abstract. 

AHRQ Views Blog Post: New Evidence-Based Tools for Improving Primary Care

Tools for Change, a new online resource that offers more than 100 tools and resources to help primary care practices provide evidence-based patient care, is the subject of a new blog post by AHRQ senior health care researcher Cindy Brach, M.P.P., and health scientist Janice Genevro, Ph.D. Tools for Change is an outgrowth of EvidenceNOW, an initiative launched in 2015 to put heart health evidence into practice in more than 1,500 small- and medium-sized primary care practices nationwide. The blog presents the EvidenceNOW Key Driver Diagram, which describes the six big changes that practices need to make to increase their capacity to use evidence. Noting that it is not enough to know what needs to change, the blog points to the collection of curated tools where practices and practice facilitators can learn how to make the changes. Access the blog post

Funding Applications Due Jan. 25 and Feb. 5 for Research Projects on Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance

AHRQ is seeking innovative research proposals for preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (CARB). Funding applications are due Jan. 25 for demonstration and dissemination projects (R18). Applications are due Feb. 5 for large research projects (R01). HAI projects in both grant categories should demonstrate new ways to detect, prevent and reduce HAIs. CARB projects should address ways to promote appropriate antibiotic use, reduce the transmission of resistant bacteria or prevent HAIs. Access more information.

AHRQ Study Reaffirms Success of Surgery, External-Beam Radiation To Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma

Surgery and external-beam radiation help keep a common nonmelanoma skin cancer from returning, but evidence is insufficient to compare them with other treatments, according to a recent Annals of Internal Medicine article based on an AHRQ systematic review. Researchers analyzed the effectiveness and safety of treatments for basal cell carcinoma, the most common cancer in the United States, including topical treatments such as gel or cream, surgical removal, external-beam radiation and other procedures, like Mohs surgery and curettage and diathermy, cryotherapy and photodynamic therapy. The authors noted that the American Academy of Dermatology has called for more evidence on comparative effectiveness of treatments. The authors found that evidence also is lacking for treatments of more aggressive types of basal cell carcinoma. They suggested that better data collection by such entities as the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program or large health organizations would help prioritize research. Access the journal abstract and AHRQ’s systematic review

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: AHRQ Tool Helps Florida Hospital Reduce Urinary Tract Infections

Find out how Tampa General Hospital’s emergency department decreased its number of insertion-related catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 75 percent by using AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program. Access the Impact Case Study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

AHRQ's tools for better practice: helping family physicians manage today's challenges. Ganiats TG, Bierman AS. Am Fam Physician 2017 Nov 1;96(9):569-70. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Trends in 30-day readmission rates after COPD hospitalization, 2006-2012. Goto T, Faridi MK, Gibo K, et al. Respir Med 2017 Sep;130:92-7. Epub 2017 Jul 26. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sublingual immunotherapy: a focused allergen immunotherapy practice parameter update. Greenhawt M, Oppenheimer J, Nelson M, et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2017 Mar;118(3):276-82.e2. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Geospatial planning and the resulting economic impact of human papillomavirus vaccine introduction in Mozambique. Haidari LA, Brown ST, Constenla D, et al. Sex Transm Dis 2017 Apr;44(4):222-6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Algorithms for prediction of the Oncotype DX recurrence score using clinicopathologic data: a review and comparison using an independent dataset. Harowicz MR, Robinson TJ, Dinan MA, et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2017 Feb;162(1):1-10. Epub 2017 Jan 7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A nationwide assessment of the association of smoking bans and cigarette taxes with hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. Ho V, Ross JS, Steiner CA, et al. Med Care Res Rev 2017 Dec;74(6):687-704. Epub 2016 Sep 12. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Risk of skin and soft tissue infections among children found to be Staphylococcus aureus MRSA USA300 carriers. Immergluck LC, Jain S, Ray SM, et al. West J Emerg Med 2017 Feb;18(2):201-12. Epub 2017 Jan 27. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Childhood pneumococcal disease in Africa - a systematic review and meta-analysis of incidence, serotype distribution, and antimicrobial susceptibility. Iroh Tam PY, Thielen BK, Obaro SK, et al. Vaccine 2017 Apr 4;35(15):1817-27. Epub 2017 Mar 9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed December 2018
Page originally created December 2018
Internet Citation: Clinicians’ Communication With Patients With Limited English Proficiency Improving. Content last reviewed December 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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