Semifinalists Chosen in AHRQ’s Social Determinants of Health Challenge

Issue 676
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 13, 2019

AHRQ Stats: Alcohol Use Screening and Counseling

Only about one-third to one-half of Americans ages 35 and older received alcohol use screening and counseling in 2015. (Source: AHRQ, MEPS Research Findings #41: Use of Clinical Preventive Services in the United States: Estimates from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), 2015.)

Today's Headlines:

Semifinalists Chosen in AHRQ’s Social Determinants of Health Challenge

AHRQ today announced 12 semifinalists in Phase 1 of its Visualization Resources of Community-Level Social Determinants of Health Challenge. More than 40 competitors entered the challenge, which called for the development of online tools to present and encourage the use of free, publicly available social determinants of health data to better understand and predict communities’ unmet healthcare needs. In Phase 1, launched in March, participants submitted concept abstracts and prototype designs of data visualization methods. Each semifinalist will receive $10,000. In Phase 2, semifinalists will develop proofs of concept, which an expert panel will judge. One grand prize winner will win $50,000. Up to $35,000 will be awarded to the 2nd-place winner, and up to $15,000 will be awarded to the 3rd-place winner based on the performance of their visualization tools. Access more information about AHRQ challenges.

No Difference in Outcomes for Patients with Complex Medical Needs Across Medicare ACOs

Accountable care organization (ACO)-reported care management and coordination activities were not associated with improved outcomes among patients who were frail or had multiple chronic conditions, according to an AHRQ-funded study in JAMA Network Open. ACOs give health organizations and providers financial incentives to improve care coordination. Researchers who reviewed survey responses from 244 ACOs with claims data from 1.4 million Medicare patients found patients in the best-performing ACOs for care management and coordination activities did not have different outcomes as measured by hospital readmissions, hospital or emergency department visits, visits for evaluation and management services in outpatient settings, or healthcare spending compared with patients in lower-performing ACOs. Study findings suggest that health organizations should consider the effectiveness of investing heavily in care coordination activities that are difficult to implement, according to researchers. Access the abstract to the study, which was part of AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance Initiative.

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-Funded Research Highlighted in Supplement on Clinical Practice Transformation

Three articles by AHRQ grantees in a special supplement of the Annals of Family Medicine offer new insights into the potential of practice facilitation and other strategies to improve primary care. The research was conducted by participants in AHRQ’s EvidenceNow initiative, which was launched in 2015 and uses practice facilitators and other quality improvement services to help improve the uptake of evidence at more than 1,500 small- and medium-sized primary care practices in 12 States. Efforts by practice facilitators focused on improving the delivery of services proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Articles in the supplement are:

AHRQ grantees also authored an accompanying editorial, Facilitating practice transformation in frontline health care.

Studies on the Nation's Health Systems

AHRQ's Comparative Health System Performance Initiative funds studies about how healthcare 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 healthcare administrators a snapshot of the nation's health systems.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Current infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices: A survey of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN). Chiotos K, Rock C, Schweizer ML, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2019 Sep;40(9):1046-1049. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Follow-up of abnormal estimated GFR results within a large integrated health care delivery system: a mixed-methods study. Danforth KN, Hahn EE, Slezak JM, et al. Am J Kidney Dis 2019 Jul 8. pii: S0272-6386(19)30763-2. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Comparative effectiveness of treatments for high-risk prostate cancer patients Jayadevappa R, Lee DI, Chhatre S, et al. Urol Oncol 2019 Jul 5. pii: S1078-1439(19)30234-0. Epub ahead of print. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A modified communication and optimal resolution program for intersystem medical error discovery: protocol for an implementation study. Dossett L, Miller J, Jagsi R, et al. JMIR Res Protoc 2019 Jul 2;8(7):e13396. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Comparing resource use in medical admissions of children with complex chronic conditions. Silber JH, Rosenbaum PR, Pimentel SD, et al. Med Care 2019 Aug;57(8):615-624. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Network analysis of the structure of inter-professional knowledge exchange related to electronic health record medication reconciliation within a social knowledge networking system. Rangachari P, Dellsperger KC, Rethemeyer RK. J Healthc Leadersh 2019 Jul 1;11:87-100. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Impact of alternative payment methodology on primary care visits and scheduling. Heintzman J, Cottrell E, Angier H, et al. J Am Board Fam Med 2019 Jul-Aug;32(4):539-549. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Comparing pretransplant and posttransplant outcomes when choosing a transplant center: focus groups and a randomized survey. Schaffhausen CR, Bruin MJ, Chu S, et al. Transplantation 2019 Jun 24. Epub ahead of print. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed August 2019
Page originally created August 2019
Internet Citation: Semifinalists Chosen in AHRQ’s Social Determinants of Health Challenge. Content last reviewed August 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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