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May 21, 2004, Issue No. 135


AHRQ News and Numbers

The relationship between any use of dental care and insurance coverage generally remained stable over the period 1996-2000. However, among people under 65 with private insurance, the percent receiving any dental care declined from 50.0 percent in 1996 to 47.8 percent in 2000. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Research Findings #20: Dental Services: Use, Expenses, and Sources of Payment, 1996-2000.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. New AHRQ tool helps hospitals with emergency management plans
  2. Significant increases in drug co-payments may reduce patients' use of needed medications
  3. Article in NCI Cancer Bulletin features AHRQ's tobacco cessation efforts
  4. Report available on research agenda for health and the humanities
  5. Patient Safety Research Coordinating Center RFP
  6. Sixth Rocky Mountain Workshop: How to Practice Evidence-based Health Care set for August
  7. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting and affiliate meetings set for June 3-9
  8. AHRQ names third Child and Adolescent Health Scholar
  9. Do you know how AHRQ's research is being used?
  10. Highlights from AHRQ's most recent monthly newsletter
  11. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  New AHRQ Tool Helps Hospitals With Emergency Management Plans

AHRQ announced a first-ever evidence-based tool to help hospitals evaluate their disaster training drills. The new resource—Evaluation of Hospital Disaster Drills: A Module-Based Approach—is designed to help hospitals identify strengths and weaknesses in their responses during a disaster drill and improve their ability to fulfill required emergency management plans. It is available from the Agency as a notebook with an accompanying CD-ROM. Developed by the AHRQ-sponsored Evidence-based Practice Center at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, the new tool is based on several key principles, including the need to plan drill objectives, train observers, document drill activities, and debrief all participants. The tool's evaluation modules are designed to capture all phases of drill activities, such as pre-drill planning and recording activities in each area of the hospital, including incident command, decontamination, triage, and treatment. The tool also includes four supplemental forms to help institutions customize their drills to practice response to specific health threats such as a bioterrorism incident. Select to read the press release and the tool.

2.  Significant Increases in Drug Co-payments May Reduce Patients' Use of Needed Medications

A new study co-funded by AHRQ shows that increasing patients' copayments for prescription medications led to decreases in their use of eight classes of therapeutic drugs. Researchers linked pharmacy claims data representing nearly 530,000 people age 18 to 64 who had employer-sponsored health insurance with health benefit designs from 52 private health plans and 30 employers. The study included one-tier, two-tier, three-tier, and coinsurance drug benefit plans of all types. The simulated copayment increases were relevant for all plans but were calibrated to two-tier plans. The analysis followed study subjects for nearly 4 years. The study, "Pharmacy Benefits and the Use of Drugs by the Chronically Ill," was led by Drs. Dana P. Goldman and Geoffrey F. Joyce and their colleagues at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, as well as by co-authors from Merck and California Healthcare Foundation. It was published in the May 19 issue of JAMA. Select to read the press release.

3.  Article in NCI Cancer Bulletin Features AHRQ's Tobacco Cessation Efforts

An article by AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., entitled "Putting Science into Practice" was published in the May 4 issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin. Dr. Clancy's article highlights the Agency's efforts to put into practice the U.S. Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. Select to read the article (PDF File, 310 KB; PDF Help) and visit AHRQ 's tobacco pathfinder on our Web site for a full menu of guideline tools.

4.  Report Available on Research Agenda for Health and the Humanities

AHRQ released a report, Setting a Research Agenda for Health and the Humanities, that summarizes the recommendations from an AHRQ/National Endowment for the Humanities conference. The conference participants felt that a collaborative research agenda depends on finding ways to introduce and fund truly interdisciplinary rather than multidisciplinary research. Interdisciplinary research-with cooperative analysis and shared understanding that starts from the distinctly different modes of analysis, kinds of evidence, and bodies of explanation employed in scientific research and the humanities-was contrasted with multidisciplinary research, in which people might work on a common project but be independent, guided by the terminology and culture of their own discipline. In addition to the group as a whole, the conference had four specific workgroups: end-of-life issues, family caregivers, patient safety, and access to care. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.gov.

5.  Patient Safety Research Coordinating Center RFP

AHRQ issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking applicants to serve as AHRQ's patient safety research coordinating center. The purpose of this contract is to support the needs of the Agency's patient safety initiative and to serve as a resource and support center that links together all the components of the Agency's patient safety research portfolio and connects with other Federal and non-Federal patient safety stakeholders. The contract will be awarded for 3 years with two 1-year renewal options. Deadline for proposals is July 13, 12 Noon EDT. Select to read the RFP.

6.  Sixth Rocky Mountain Workshop: How to Practice Evidence-based Health Care Set for August

Mark your calendar! AHRQ is co-sponsoring a 5-day workshop with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Department of Preventive Medicine & Biometrics, and the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center to be held August 8-12 at the Keystone Resort in Keystone, CO. The workshop is designed to challenge participants to integrate their skills in decisionmaking with patients, communication, and policymaking. Participants focus on their specific interest areas using a small-group, problem-solving format. Select to register and for more information.

7.  AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting and Affiliate Meetings Set for June 3-9

The AcademyHealth Annual Research meeting and affiliate meetings will be held June 3-9 in San Diego. The theme for this year's meeting is "The Premier Forum for Health Services Research." The meeting provides opportunities to present and hear about cutting-edge research, debate timely policy issues, and learn about new methods and funding sources. In conjunction with the annual meeting, AHRQ is co-sponsoring several affiliate meetings:

  • The ""Sixth Annual Child Health Services Researchers Meeting" on June 5
  • "AHRQ Enhanced Emphasis on Translating Research Into Practice and Policy" on June 7.
  • "What Do We Know About Quality? Key Findings from the First National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports" on June 8.
  • "MEPS Data: What Every Researcher Should Know" and "HCUP: Data and Tools to Support Improvement in Health Care" on June 9.

8.  AHRQ Names Third Child and Adolescent Health Scholar

Carole M. Lannon, M.D., M.P.H., has been appointed as AHRQ's third Child and Adolescent Health Scholar. Dr. Lannon is Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management and co-Director of the North Carolina, Center for Children's Healthcare Improvement. She serves as medical editor of AAP's Education for Quality Improvement in Pediatric Practice, a Web-based QI tool that will form the basis for maintenance of certification for pediatricians. She is also the principal investigator on the AHRQ Partnership for Quality Cooperative Agreement to work with local child health networks to improve care for children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder. She has contributed in other AHRQ issues involving neonatal jaundice practice improvement, childhood obesity, and developmental and preventive services for children. Dr. Lannon received her B.A. from Macalester College. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Minnesota Medical School and her Master's degree from the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health. She has published peer-reviewed research articles and given numerous scientific presentations.

9.  Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed people's lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. Impact case studies describe AHRQ research findings in action. These case studies are used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. We would like to know if you are aware of any impact your AHRQ-funded research has had on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

10.  Highlights from AHRQ's Most Recent Monthly Newsletter

Among the key articles in the online issue of Research Activities:

  • Cervical cancer screening every 3 years after three or more normal Pap tests is a safe option.

Current care guidelines recommend that Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer can be extended to once every 3 years, instead of every year, among low-risk women with three consecutive negative Pap test.

Other articles are:

  • Improving depression care has long-lasting benefits for blacks and Hispanics
  • Step-by-step procedures may help health care providers treat victims of intimate partner violence.
  • Researchers examine ways to measure the quality of health services for children and adolescents.

Select to read these articles and others.

11.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Johnson KB, Davison CL. Information technology: its importance to child safety. Ambul Pediatr 2004 Jan-Feb;4(1):64-72. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hoffman JM, Shah ND, Vermeulen LC, et al. Projecting future drug expenditures—2004. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2004 Jan 15;61(2):145-58. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Nowalk MP, Bardella IJ, Zimmerman RK, et al. The physician's office: can it influence adult immunization rates? Am J Manag Care 2004 Jan;10(1):13-19 Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Gonzales R, Sauaia A, Corbett KK, et al. Antibiotic treatment of acute respiratory tract infections in the elderly: effect of a multidimensional educational intervention. J Am Geriatric Soc 2004 Jan;542(1):39-45. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Gershon RR, Stone PW, Bakken S, et al. Measurement of organizational culture and climate in healthcare. J Nurs Admin 2004 Jan;34(1):33-40. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Murray ME, Darmody JV. Clinical and fiscal outcomes of utilization review. Outcomes Manag 2004 Jan-Mar;8(1):19-25. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Cook RL, Harrison LH, Moreira RI, et al. High prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in young women seeking HIV testing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sex Transm Dis 2004 Jan;31(1):67-72. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at Nancy.Comfort@ahrq.hhs.gov or (301) 427-1866.

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Current as of May 2004

 

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