Using AHRQ Data Analytics To Understand Today’s Critical Healthcare Issues

Issue 665
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
May 21, 2019

AHRQ Stats: Health Systems Offering Insurance Products

Nearly four in 10 health systems offered an insurance product to patients in 2016. The most common types were health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations. (Source: AHRQ, Compendium of U.S. Health Systems—Provider-Offered Insurance Products Among U.S. Health Systems, 2016 [PDF, 219 KB]).

Today's Headlines:

Using AHRQ Data Analytics To Understand Today’s Critical Healthcare Issues

AHRQ’s capacities to collect and analyze healthcare data are well-established through the agency’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases. While these data capabilities are robust today, new initiatives like developing predictive analytics and establishing a social determinants of health database are moving AHRQ’s data resources into the future. A new blog post by Joel Cohen, Ph.D., director of AHRQ’s Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, and AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., highlights agency efforts to expand its analytic expertise and identify and address the future healthcare needs of all Americans. In a previous post, Director Khanna identified data analytics as one of three urgent challenges (along with improving care for people with multiple chronic conditions and reducing diagnostic errors) that will guide the agency’s future activities. To receive all blog posts, submit your email address and select “AHRQ Views Blog.” 

Having Multiple Electronic Health Records Open Simultaneously May Not Increase Wrong-Patient Order Errors

Restricting clinicians to having one electronic health record (EHR) record open at a time did not significantly reduce the rate of wrong-patient order errors compared with allowing up to four records to be open concurrently, according to a new AHRQ study on clinician use of EHRs. In the study, published in the May JAMA Network, researchers compared the risk of wrong-patient orders while accessing one versus four EHRs open in a variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, emergency departments and outpatient facilities. While no differences in wrong-patient orders were observed between those clinician groups, there was considerable variation in the frequency of errors in different clinical settings. The rate of wrong-patient order errors was lowest in outpatient settings, where physicians may care for one patient at a time. The highest rates, meanwhile, were seen in inpatient critical care and obstetrics units, which reflected differences in workflows and number of patients being cared for simultaneously, researchers noted. The research offers insights for healthcare systems that are trying to balance patient safety with the needs of busy clinicians who need tools for efficient workflow. Access the abstract. An accompanying editorial takes a closer look at the study.

More Research is Needed To Confirm Most Effective Treatments for Infertility

Management of Infertility, a new report from AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Center Program, summarizes the benefits and harms of treatments for unexplained infertility and infertility related to causes such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, tubal factor infertility and male factor infertility. The report findings support some strategies for infertility treatment, such as use of the drug Leterozole versus clomiphene. Authors also explored the evidence of harms associated with egg and sperm donation; found no correlation between infertility treatment and maternal cancer; and highlighted areas of research needed for patients and clinicians to make the best possible decisions. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will use the report to update its clinical practice guidelines on how to treat infertility. Access the report

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).

Learn To Use AHRQ’s QuestionBuilder App With New How-To Video

AHRQ’s QuestionBuilder App helps patients maximize time with their providers during medical appointments. Access this short video for step-by-step instructions on how to use the QuestionBuilder App. Learn to create a list of questions for your provider, add custom questions or pictures and save questions via a calendar appointment or email. Download the QuestionBuilder App for free from Apple or Google Play

AHRQ Grantee Gordon Schiff, M.D., Featured in Diagnostic Safety Webcast

"Improving Diagnosis in Primary Care,” a presentation from Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 10–16), is now available for viewing as an archived webcast. The webcast, sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration, features Gordon Schiff, M.D., an AHRQ grantee who serves as quality and safety director for the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care. Dr. Schiff is a leading expert in diagnostics and malpractice prevention who advocates for open communications between doctors and patients. Access the no-cost webcast (when asked at login for the “Bureau/Office,” enter “Guest”). Access more information about AHRQ’s efforts to improve diagnostic safety. 

New Research and Evidence From AHRQ

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Systematic review of caregiver responses for patient health-related quality of life in adult cancer care. Roydhouse JK, Wilson IB. Qual Life Res 2017 Aug;26(8):1925-54. Epub 2017 Mar 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mental health service utilization is associated with retention in care among persons living with HIV at a university-affiliated HIV clinic. Saag LA, Tamhane AR, Batey DS, et al. AIDS Res Ther 2018 Jan 16;15(1):1. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Use of Internet search data to monitor rotavirus vaccine impact in the United States, United Kingdom, and Mexico. Shah MP, Lopman BA, Tate JE, et al. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2018 Feb 19;7(1):56-63. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Perceived discrimination and privilege in health care: the role of socioeconomic status and race. Stepanikova I, Oates GR. Am J Prev Med 2017 Jan;52(1s1):S86-S94. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Filtering authentic sepsis arising in the ICU using administrative codes coupled to a SIRS screening protocol. Sudduth CL, Overton EC, Lyu PF, et al. J Crit Care 2017 Jun;39:220-4. Epub 2017 Feb 3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Persistent socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular risk factors and health in the United States: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2002-2013. Valero-Elizondo J, Hong JC, Spatz ES, et al. Atherosclerosis 2018 Feb;269:301-5. Epub 2017 Dec 8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Shared participatory research principles and methodologies: perspectives from the USA and Brazil-45 years after Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." Wallerstein N, Giatti LL, Bόgus CM, et al. Societies (Basel) 2017 Jun;7(2). Epub 2017 Apr 13. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Home health agency performance in the United States: 2011-15. Wang Y, Spatz ES, Tariq M, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017 Dec;65(12):2572-9. Epub 2017 Sep 27. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed May 2019
Page originally created May 2019
Internet Citation: Using AHRQ Data Analytics To Understand Today’s Critical Healthcare Issues . Content last reviewed May 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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