Patient-Friendly App Wins AHRQ’s Step Up App Challenge Competition

Issue 654
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
March 5, 2019

Editor’s Note: Look for next Tuesday’s AHRQ News Now, a special edition devoted to the agency’s support of Patient Safety Awareness Week.

AHRQ Stats: State Variations in Health Plan Enrollment

In 2016, Alaska had the highest percent (36 percent) of private- sector employees enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans with annual single-coverage premiums of at least $8,500. Arkansas had the lowest (5 percent). (Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #519: Enrollment in High-Premium Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance by State: Private Industry, 2016.) 

Today's Headlines:

Patient-Friendly App Wins AHRQ’s Step Up App Challenge Competition

The newly created PRISM app is the winner of the AHRQ Step Up App Challenge, a multiphase competition to develop a user-friendly app that makes it easier for standardized patient-reported outcomes data to be incorporated into clinical care and research. The app guides patients through questions about their health status. Their responses, in turn, become part of the medical record so that clinicians can better address patient needs and concerns. The app will now be tested in nine practice settings affiliated with MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Results will be available later this year. PRISM was developed by a multidisciplinary team: University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, the Institute for Health Informatics, HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute and PerkHealth, a Minnesota-based startup mobile app development company. Access AHRQ’s news release, more information about PRISM and AHRQ’s Step Up App Challenge.

AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., greets HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar following the Feb. 22 State of the Department Address.

Caption: AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., greets HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar following the Feb. 22 State of the Department Address. In his remarks, Secretary Azar reviewed highlights from HHS’ 2018 annual report and emphasized the department’s ongoing commitment to empower patients and transform the health system to pay for value.  

Researchers Show How Learning Health Systems Can Help Organizations Improve Practice

A recent Journal of Hospital Medicine article by AHRQ researchers explored how healthcare organizations can use the learning health system framework to translate evidence into practice and measure the impacts on practice. AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Center program synthesizes evidence to inform and improve medical practice. However, many healthcare organizations struggle to put this evidence into practice. AHRQ researchers described their efforts around the three phases of the learning health system cycle—identifying and synthesizing evidence, applying knowledge in care delivery, and assessing performance—around prevention and treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis (C. diff). The learning health system cycle is a valuable framework to improve practice and develop systems that enhance continuous learning, according to the AHRQ authors. Access the article 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). 

AHRQ Seeks Grant Applications To Advance High-Value Care

A new notice issued by AHRQ expresses the agency’s interest in receiving health services research grant applications to advance the national goal of establishing a high-value healthcare system in alignment with the HHS-wide Value-Based Transformation Initiative. AHRQ is seeking applications that respond to the following areas: patients as empowered consumers, providers as accountable patient navigators, and payment for outcomes and prevention of disease. AHRQ has a particular interest in health service research applications that address the experience, needs, preferences and outcomes of priority populations including children and adolescents, women, older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income and rural populations. Access more information.

Apply by March 26 for AHRQ Summer Intramural Fellowship Program

AHRQ has multiple openings for Junior Summer Fellows, who will work with leading health services researchers while exploring “real life” issues that contribute to health care improvements. Applications are due by March 26. Learn more or send questions to

New Research and Evidence From AHRQ

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Implementing an antimicrobial stewardship program in out-patient dialysis units. Cunha CB, D'Agata EM. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens 2016 Nov;25(6):551-5. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Missing laboratory results data in electronic health databases: implications for monitoring diabetes risk. Flory JH, Roy J, Gagne JJ, et al. J Comp Eff Res 2017 Jan;6(1):25-32. Epub 2016 Dec 9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) bridging the gaps between communities, funders, and policymakers. Gaglioti AH, Werner JJ, Rust G, et al. J Am Board Fam Med 2016 Sep-Oct;29(5):630-5. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

NEC-zero recommendations from scoping review of evidence to prevent and foster timely recognition of necrotizing enterocolitis. Gephart SM, Hanson C, Wetzel CM, et al. Matern Health Neonatol Perinatol 2017 Dec 18;3:23. eCollection 2017. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The impact of smoking on disease measures in rheumatoid arthritis: the need for appropriate adjustment of time-varying confounding. Gianfrancesco MA, Yazdany J, Schmajuk G. Rheumatol Int 2018 Feb;38(2):313-4. Epub 2017 Dec 5. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

On the relative role of different age groups during epidemics associated with respiratory syncytial virus. Goldstein E, Nguyen HH, Liu P, et al. J Infect Dis 2018 Jan 4;217(2):238-44. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Comparison of methods to identify long term care nursing home residence with administrative data. Goodwin JS, Li S, Zhou J, et al. BMC Health Serv Res 2017 May 30;17(1):376. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The economic value of increasing geospatial access to tetanus toxoid immunization in Mozambique. Haidari LA, Brown ST, Constenla D, et al. Vaccine 2016 Jul 29;34(35):4161-5. Epub 2016 Jun 29. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed March 2019
Page originally created March 2019
Internet Citation: Patient-Friendly App Wins AHRQ’s Step Up App Challenge Competition. Content last reviewed March 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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