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February 1, 2001, Issue No. 21


AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. Article in Pediatrics on quality improvement initiatives for children
  2. JAMA article on reporting of the safety of medications in randomized trials
  3. Annual report on access to and utilization of health care for children and youth
  4. Child health fact sheet update
  5. Article in U.S. Medicine about AHRQ
  6. Grants for dissertation research
  7. New resource for patients on health care quality
  8. AHRQ's Center for Quality Measurement and Improvement has a new name
  9. New AHRQ publications
  10. AHRQ in the professional literature
  11. Factoid

1.  Article in Pediatrics on Quality Improvement Initiatives for Children

An AHRQ-funded article in the January 2001 issue of Pediatrics is the first systematic review of quality improvement initiatives for children. The article, by Timothy G. Ferris, M.D.; M.P.H., Denise Dougherty, Ph.D.; David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P.; and James M. Perrin, M.D., found that numerous gaps remain in the understanding of QI for children, and widespread improvement in the quality of health services for children faces significant barriers.

The January 2001 issue of Pediatrics also includes an accompanying editorial by AHRQ Deputy Director Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., which discusses the significance of this review of children's health quality initiatives.

2.  JAMA Article on Reporting of the Safety of Medications in Randomized Trials

AHRQ issued a press release about an article published in the January 24 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in which AHRQ-supported researchers Joseph Lau, M.D., and John Ioannidis, M.D., found that journal articles describing randomized controlled trials of medications tended to under-report safety issues, such as side effects, and that the quality of what they do report is often inadequate. The researchers' article includes a proposed addendum to the standard statement to help guide authors of future articles for reporting side effects and toxicities of drugs tested in trials. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

3.  Annual Report on Access to and Utilization of Health Care for Children and Youth

AHRQ released on January 23 a press release about an article published in the January issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics by AHRQ's Deputy Director, Dr. Lisa Simpson, and Dr. Marie McCormick of the Harvard Center for Children's Health, Harvard University, and The Department of Maternal and Child Health, Harvard School of Public Health. This is the second annual article entitled Annual Report on Access to and Utilization of Health Care for Children and Youth in the United States—2000, and is a descriptive piece using AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data on children. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

4.  Child Health Fact Sheet Update

AHRQ recently updated the "Information Technology and Children's Health Care" fact sheet. Select to access the fact sheet and for more information about AHRQ's child health and adolescent research.

5.  Article in U.S. Medicine about AHRQ

AHRQ Director John Eisenberg, M.D., wrote an article for U.S. Medicine's annual Federal Government health care issue. Dr. Eisenberg discussed AHRQ's mission, recent funding initiatives, and the Agency's agenda in 2001.

6.  Grants for Dissertation Research

AHRQ funds individual dissertation grants in health services research to support research projects undertaken as part of an academic program for students earning a doctoral degree. Recently, AHRQ announced that it is increasing the number of submission dates per year for accepting grant applications. Applications may be submitted on May 15, September 15, and January 15, annually. Select to access the Research Dissertation Award Program Announcement.

7.  New Resource for Patients on Health Care Quality

AHRQ issued a press release on January 31 announcing the availability of a new, concise resource on health care quality to assist patients and consumers in making more informed choices about doctors, hospitals, health plans, and long-term care. The brochure, "Improving Health Care Quality: A Guide for Patients and Families" provides information and a list of resources aimed at helping people take steps to improve the quality of the care they receive. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

8.  AHRQ's Center for Quality Measurement and Improvement Has a New Name

Effective January 17, AHRQ's Center for Quality Measurement and Improvement was renamed the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS, pronounced "see quips"). The name change reflects the Center's new Congressionally mandated responsibilities for patient safety and is consistent with the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine in their landmark November 1999 report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Specifically, CQuIPS will integrate patient safety activities into the broader quality framework at AHRQ, conduct research on how to reduce medical errors, convert those research findings into improved practices, and help educate patients about safety issues. The functional statement for CQuIPS was published in the January 24 issue of the Federal Register at 66 FR 7653.

9.  New AHRQ Publications

  1. Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics Fact Sheet.
  2. Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Highlights Program Brief.
  3. Women's Health Highlights Program Brief.
  4. Quality Indicators from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP QIs) Fact Sheet.
  5. Integrated Delivery System Research Network (IDSRN) Fact Sheet.

10.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Barr DA, Vergun P. Using a new method of gathering patient satisfaction data to assess the effects of organizational factors on primary care quality. Jt Comm J Qual Improv 2000 Dec; 26(12):713-23.

Klerman LV, Ramey SL, Goldenberg RL, et al. A randomized trial of augmented prenatal care for multiple-risk, Medicaid-eligible African American women. Am J Public Health 2001 Jan; 91(1):105-11.

Peterson ED, DeLong ER, Muhlbaier LH, et al. Challenges in comparing risk-adjusted bypass surgery. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000 Dec: 36(7):2174-84.

11.  Factoid

Fifty-five percent of workers have insurance plan choice, and 26 percent of workers with choice obtain choice through a family member. Source: Schone BS and Cooper PF. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), 1996. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Health Affairs, January/February 2001.

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Current as of February 2001

 

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