AHRQ Views Blog Post: Rising to the Historic Challenges of COVID-19
April 21, 2020
AHRQ Stats: Highest Rates of Traumatic Brain Injury
Population rates of hospitalizations and emergency department visits related to treatment of traumatic brain injuries in 2017 were highest among people living in low-income and rural areas, and in the Midwest. (AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #255, Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Involving Traumatic Brain Injury, 2017.)
- AHRQ Views Blog Post: Rising to the Historic Challenges of COVID-19.
- New PSNet Primer Outlines Challenges of Protecting Nursing Home Residents From COVID-19.
- Reports Examine Effectiveness, Risks of Pain Treatments.
- Featured Impact Case Study: LincolnHealth Speeds Patients’ Admitting Time From the Emergency Department After Implementing AHRQ Tools.
- Adding Health System Data to Systematic Reviews May Improve Decision-Making.
- Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network.
- Register Now for May 8 Webinar on Lessons From the Opioid Crisis.
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature.
The agency’s unique efforts in the battle against COVID-19 are highlighted in the newest AHRQ Views blog by Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A. Through the use of AHRQ’s premier datasets—the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)—the agency has collected, analyzed and passed forward data to help federal and state entities forecast medical needs. AHRQ has also launched new research efforts aimed at empowering health system leaders, providers, policymakers and others as they treat patients and allocate critical resources. And an AHRQ strike team of internal experts is addressing short- and long-term needs related to risk mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Access the blog post. To receive all blog posts, submit your email address and select “AHRQ Views Blog.”
People living in nursing homes or residential care facilities use common dining and activity spaces and may share rooms, which increases the risk for transmission of COVID-19 infection, according to a new primer from AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet). The primer identifies federal guidelines and resources for healthcare provider teams related to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation in long-term care. Access the PSNet primer.
Three new AHRQ-funded reports examine the effectiveness and risks of different kinds of chronic pain treatments. The reports were developed for use by researchers, policymakers and clinical teams to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of different pain treatments. Each report examines a separate approach: opioids; nonopioid drugs; and nondrug treatments such as exercise, acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy. The report on opioids found small benefits from the use of those drugs, but also found that their use was accompanied by serious risks at higher doses. The report on nonopioid painkillers found small to moderate improvements in chronic pain management. And the report on nondrug options found benefits in pain and function without serious risks.
Featured Impact Case Study: LincolnHealth Speeds Patients’ Admitting Time From the Emergency Department After Implementing AHRQ Tools
A new Impact Case Study reveals how LincolnHealth, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Damariscotta, Maine, implemented AHRQ tools to reduce the time it takes to admit a patient from the emergency department into a hospital unit. The hospital team (pictured here) improved the admissions process after changes were implemented based on information gained from the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Hospital Survey. The hospital also used AHRQ’s TeamSTEPPS® to improve communication and teamwork skills.
Incorporating health system data from electronic health records, patient registries and insurance claims may enhance healthcare decision-making beyond what’s available in systematic reviews, according to a recently published article by AHRQ-funded researchers. There are different ways and reasons to incorporate health system data to improve the strength of evidence, improve the applicability of evidence and inform the implementation of evidence, according to the authors. Noting that systematic reviews are valuable but may lack answers to some questions, the researchers proposed a framework, based on a literature review and empirical experience, to address how and when decision-makers might supplement systematic reviews with unpublished health system data. This additional information can answer questions that are raised but unanswered by systematic reviews, such as details of an intervention, cost-effectiveness or ethical considerations. It can also provide context for decision-makers to interpret and apply review findings to local practices. Access the abstract of the review, published in Journal of General Internal Medicine.
AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:
- Interventions to improve team effectiveness within health care: a systematic review of the past decade.
- Information transfer at hospital discharge: a systematic review.
- The effects of harm events on 30-day readmission in surgical patients.
AHRQ experts will be part of a webinar on May 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET about lessons learned from the opioid crisis. The webinar, hosted by the National Interoperability Collaborative, will feature AHRQ speakers who will present practical guidelines and resources for using evidence to combat the opioid crisis, evidence syntheses on what works to manage pain and opioid use disorder and tools to integrate the latest guidelines at the point of care. Access details about the webinar and information on how to register.
Changes in hospital referral patterns to skilled nursing facilities under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Kim KL, Li L, Kuang M, et al. Med Care 2019 Sep;57(9):695-701. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Multistate programme to reduce catheter-associated infections in intensive care units with elevated infection rates. Meddings J, Greene MT, Ratz D, et al. BMJ Qual Saf 2020 May;29(5):418-29. Epub 2020 Jan 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
A health system's pilot experience with using Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) technology to enable meaningful use of EHR medication reconciliation technology. Rangachari P, Dellsperger KC, Rethemeyer RK. J Hosp Manag Health Policy 2019 Sep; 3. Epub 2019 Sep 3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Development and validation of a predictive model of the risk of pediatric septic shock using data known at the time of hospital arrival. Scott HF, Colborn KL, Sevick CJ, et al. J Pediatr 2020 Feb;217:145-51.e6. Epub 2019 Nov 13. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Characteristics of academic-affiliated health systems. Niedzwiecki MJ, Machta RM, Reschovsky JD, et al. Acad Med 2020 Apr;95(4):559-66. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Social risk factors for medication nonadherence: findings from the CARDIA study. Oates GR, Juarez LD, Hansen B, et al. Am J Health Behav 2020 Mar 1;44(2):232-43. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Using qualitative research to reduce readmissions and optimize perioperative cystectomy care. Smith AB, Mueller D, Garren B, et al. Cancer 2019 Oct 15;125(20):3545-53. Epub 2019 Jul 12. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Telemedicine is associated with rapid transfer and fewer involuntary holds among patients presenting with suicidal ideation in rural hospitals: a propensity matched cohort study. Vakkalanka JP, Harland KK, Wittrock A, et al. J Epidemiol Community Health 2019 Nov;73(11):1033-9. Epub 2019 Sep 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.