AHRQ Views Blog: Asking the Hard Questions About Telehealth
June 29, 2021
Access more data on this topic in the associated statistical brief, plus additional AHRQ data infographics.
- AHRQ Views Blog: Asking the Hard Questions About Telehealth.
- CDC Chronic Pain Guidance Reduced Continued Use of Opioids.
- AHRQ Saddened by Loss of Longtime Friend J. Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz.
- AHRQ Releases New Toolkit To Help Long-Term Care Facilities Improve Antibiotic Prescribing.
- AHRQ Issue Brief Calls on Healthcare Leaders To Drive Improvements in Diagnostic Safety.
- Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network.
- New Research and Evidence From AHRQ.
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature.
AHRQ Views Blog: Asking the Hard Questions About Telehealth
AHRQ’s commitment to explore essential questions related to the use of telehealth is the subject of a new AHRQ Views blog post by David Meyers, M.D., the agency’s acting director. The use of telehealth expanded significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its potential to connect patients and clinicians is clear. But there is much to be learned about telehealth to ensure that its future implementation meets and exceeds expectations and does not introduce new safety problems or exacerbate today’s healthcare inequities. It is time to ask challenging questions and create the evidence to ensure that telehealth drives improvements in quality, safety, equity, access and value. Access the blog post. To receive all blog posts, submit your email address and select “AHRQ Views Blog.”
CDC Chronic Pain Guidance Reduced Continued Use of Opioids
The proportion of chronic pain patients who maintained an existing opioid prescription dropped by more than 11 percentage points after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released prescribing guidance in 2016, according to a study byAHRQ researchers. Data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey indicated that the use of nonopioid analgesics for chronic pain treatment increased by nearly 12 percentage points after the guidance was released. While just under 35 percent of existing opioid users received tapered prescriptions prior to the CDC guidance, nearly 54 percent were given tapered prescriptions afterward. However, CDC guidance had no impact on the initiation of opioid prescriptions for new chronic pain patients. Access the abstract to the study published in the International Journal of Health Economics and Management.
AHRQ Saddened by Loss of Longtime Friend J. Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz
AHRQ and the health services research community are mourning the loss of J. Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz, M.D., who died June 25. Dr. Schwartz was an important voice in the advancement of AHRQ’s mission, serving on the agency’s National Advisory Council from 2014 to 2017 and on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force from 2008 to 2011. He also served on many AHRQ study sections and expert panels. Dr. Schwartz was a longtime faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as the Leon Hess Professor of Medicine and Health Management and Economics at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School of Business, and as a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. His award-winning research focused on assessing the incremental benefits, harms and costs of innovative medical interventions and technologies and their application to clinical decisionmaking. “Sandy was a towering intellect and a beloved mentor to hundreds of clinicians and health services researchers,” said AHRQ Acting Director David Meyers, M.D., ”who may be most remembered for his generosity of spirit.”
AHRQ Releases New Toolkit To Help Long-Term Care Facilities Improve Antibiotic Prescribing
AHRQ’s new Toolkit To Improve Antibiotic Use in Long-Term Care offers a step-by-step approach to help facilities start or revitalize an antibiotic stewardship program. Using the Four Moments of Antibiotic Decision Making, facilities can identify critical time periods to help prescribers make decisions about antibiotic therapy. The toolkit includes various tools and resources such as slide presentations with scripts, videos and more to train staff and antibiotic stewardship teams to ensure antibiotics are used judiciously to prevent harm and keep residents safe. The toolkit also supports antibiotic stewardship programs in complying with guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and helps facilities address the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes.
AHRQ Issue Brief Calls on Healthcare Leaders To Drive Improvements in Diagnostic Safety
A new AHRQ issue brief, Leadership To Improve Diagnosis: A Call to Action, outlines strategies for healthcare leaders to drive improvements in diagnostic safety. It is estimated that each year diagnostic errors can involve up to 12 million patients in U.S. ambulatory settings alone and contribute to the deaths of up to 80,000 patients in U.S. hospitals. The issue brief examines ways leaders can promote a shared sense of responsibility for diagnostic safety through role clarity, responsibility and feedback mechanisms while using formal and informal learning strategies and processes to build capacity. Access the issue brief.
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:
- Interventions to reduce pediatric prescribing errors in professional healthcare settings: a systematic review of the last decade.
- Promoting the psychological well-being of healthcare providers facing the burden of adverse events: a systematic review of second victim support resources.
- Patient safety in dermatology: a ten-year update.
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).
New Research and Evidence From AHRQ
- Surveillance Report: Living Systematic Review on Cannabis and Other Plant-Based Treatments for Chronic Pain.
AHRQ in the Professional Literature
Diagnostic error in hospitals: finding forests not just the big trees. Zwaan L, Singh H. BMJ Qual Saf 2020 Dec;29(12):961-4. Epub 2020 Aug 4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Effect of simulation-based training and neurofeedback interventions on radiation technologists' workload, situation awareness, and performance. Mazur LM, Adams R, Mosaly PR, et al. Pract Radiat Oncol 2021 Mar-Apr;11(2):e124-33. Epub 2020 Aug 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
An implementation model for managing cloud-based longitudinal care plans for children with medical complexity. Wang G, Wignall J, Kinard D, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2021 Jan 15;28(1):23-32. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Inappropriate prescription of direct oral anticoagulant starter packs. Feng Y, Pai CW, Seiler K, et al. Am J Med 2021 Mar;134(3):370-3.e1. Epub 2020 Aug 18. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Assessing association between team structure and health outcome and cost by social network analysis. Kuo YF, Agrawal P, Chou LN, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Apr;69(4):946-54. Epub 2020 Dec 1. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Association of postoperative infections after fractures with long-term income among adults. O'Hara NN, Mullins CD, Slobogean GP, et al. JAMA Netw Open 2021 Apr;4(4):e216673. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Associations between video evaluations of surgical technique and outcomes of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Chhabra KR, Thumma JR, Varban OA, et al. JAMA Surg 2021 Feb;156(2):e205532. Epub 2021 Feb 10. Access the abstract on PubMed®.
Work-system interventions in robotic-assisted surgery: a systematic review exploring the gap between challenges and solutions. Kanji F, Catchpole K, Choi E, et al. Surg Endosc 2021 May;35(5):1976-89. Epub 2021 Jan 4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.