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December 8, 2006, Issue No. 215


AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ To Fund Studies on Safety and Quality in Ambulatory Care Settings
  2. Risk of Death or Heart Attack with Drug-Eluting Stents Appears to be Lower with Longer Use of Anti-Clotting Treatment
  3. New AHRQ Information on Mass Casualty Care Is Available
  4. AHRQ-Sponsored DVD Demonstrates Safe Techniques for Chest Tube Insertion
  5. AHRQ's Recent Healthcare 411 Audio Programs Highlight Research on Medical Tests, HIV Drug Regimens, and Hospital Teamwork
  6. Purchaser's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services Is Released
  7. New Report on Residential Care and Assisted Living
  8. Register Now to Learn More about AHRQ-Sponsored Keystone ICU Project in January
  9. AHRQ Is Transitioning to Electronic Grant Applications
  10. Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?
  11. AHRQ Issues New Funding Opportunity Announcement on Health Literacy
  12. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

1.  AHRQ To Fund Studies on Safety and Quality in Ambulatory Care Settings

AHRQ will fund up to $26 million in new research projects to improve the safety and quality of ambulatory health care. Four separate funding opportunity announcements under AHRQ's new Ambulatory Safety and Quality grant program were published in the December 5 NIH Guide:

  • Ambulatory Safety and Quality Program: Improving Quality through Clinician Use of Health IT will provide $9 million to fund 20-40 new projects intended to support the development of health IT to assist clinicians, practices, and systems improve the quality and safety of care delivery and medication management. The deadline to submit an application is February 14, 2007.
  • Ambulatory Safety and Quality Program: Enabling Quality Measurement through Health IT will provide $6.8 million to fund 12-24 new projects to support the development of health IT to assist clinicians, practices, and systems measure the quality and safety of care in ambulatory care settings. The deadline to submit an application is February 13, 2007.
  • Ambulatory Care Patient Safety Proactive Risk Assessment will provide $4 million to support 20 projects to support proactive risk assessments and model risks and known hazards that threaten patient safety. The deadline to submit an application is February 16, 2007.
  • Ambulatory Safety and Quality: Enabling Patient-Centered Care through Health IT will provide $6 million to fund 15-20 demonstration projects that will explore the use of health IT and related policies and practices to establish and enhance patient-centered care. The deadline to submit an application is February 15, 2007.

Select for more information on all of these funding announcements and instructions on electronic submission of applications.

2.  Risk of Death or Heart Attack with Drug-Eluting Stents Appears to be Lower with Longer Use of Anti-Clotting Treatment

Patients who receive drug-coated stents to open heart arteries may lower their risks of heart attack or death by taking an anti-platelet medication longer than current recommendations, according to an AHRQ-funded study published in the December 5 online version of JAMA.

The drug, clopidogrel, is an anti-clotting medication currently recommended for 3 to 6 months after the placement of "drug-eluting" stents. But the new observational study by AHRQ's DEcIDE Research Center at Duke University suggests the drug reduces the risks of heart attack or death for at least 2 years in some patients. Select to access our press release.

3.  New AHRQ Information on Mass Casualty Care Is Available

AHRQ released Providing Mass Medical Care with Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide, which provides community planners, as well as planners at the institutional, state and federal levels, with valuable information that will help their efforts to plan for and respond to a mass casualty event. This planning guide examines mass casualty event response and preparedness challenges across a wide range of health care settings and issues recommendations for planners in specific areas.

The guide also discusses ethical and legal considerations related to mass casualty event planning in pre-hospital, hospital, acute-care, and alternative-care sites. Select to access the Providing Mass Medical Care with Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

In addition, AHRQ released Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness Issue Brief Number 11, entitled, Developing Alternative Approaches to Mass Casualty Care: The Role of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The brief reviews AHRQ's research on mass casualty care and includes models, resources and tools for planning, training and response to improve health system preparedness. The brief also details the role of HHS in achieving mass casualty capabilities.

4.  AHRQ-Sponsored DVD Demonstrates Safe Techniques for Chest Tube Insertion

AHRQ has published a new 11-minute DVD, "Problems and Prevention: Chest Tube Insertion," that uses excerpts from videotapes of 50 actual chest tube insertions to illustrate problems that can occur if this life-saving procedure is not done correctly. The DVD includes a demonstration of a series of preventive measures, using an easy-to-remember mnemonic, UWET, which stands for Universal Precautions (achieved by using sterile cap, mask, gown, and gloves); Wider skin prep; Extensive draping; and Tray positioning

The DVD was developed under an AHRQ grant to Colin F. Mackenzie, M.D., and his colleagues at the University of Maryland's National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Services, in Baltimore. Free single copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov. Select for additional information on the DVD.

5.  AHRQ's Recent Healthcare 411 Audio Programs Highlight Research on Medical Tests, HIV Drug Regimens, and Hospital Teamwork

This week's program is a Healthcare 411 "Quality Insider" about understanding and being prepared for medical tests that your clinician has prescribed for you. AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., explains terms and discusses what patients should know about their medical tests. Select to access this 8-minute audio program.

On November 22, Healthcare 411 featured Roger Chou, M.D., discussing his research that compared simple and complex drug regimens to treat HIV. The newscast also discussed research that found that tax subsidies for employer-sponsored health insurance will exceed $200 billion this year. And data from MEPS showed that brand-name drugs increased overall spending for prescription drugs. Select to access this 10-minute audio program.

On November 8, Healthcare 411 featured a story about the release of TeamSTEPPS, a new team training and implementation toolkit designed to help prevent medical errors through effective communication and teamwork skills. The 7 ½-minute newscast also reported on genomic testing for ovarian cancer and discussed data on leading causes of hospitalization for the elderly. Select to access this newscast.

You can listen to these audio programs directly through your computer—if it has a sound card, speakers, and can play MP3 audio files—or you can download it to a portable audio device. In any case, you will be able to listen at your convenience. To access any of AHRQ's newscasts and special reports or to sign up for a free subscription to the series to receive notice of all future AHRQ podcasts, visit our Healthcare 411 series main page.

6.  Purchaser's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services Is Released

The Purchaser's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage, a joint project between AHRQ, CDC, and the National Business Group on Health, has been released by the NBGH, a national non-profit organization representing 250 large employers. The new guide is designed to help employers improve the health of their employees and their families as well as to potentially reduce their health care costs.

The guide contains preventive services recommended as clinically effective by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and CDC. Clinical preventive services recommendations were required to be either evidence-based; address a serious health threat in terms of illness, death, or quality of life, including risk of disability; or address a condition that results in substantial direct or indirect costs for payers in order to be included in the Purchaser's Guide. Select for a free copy of the Guide.

7.  New Report on Residential Care and Assisted Living

AHRQ released a report on residential care and assisted living. The report, Residential Care and Assisted Living: State Oversight Practices and State Information Available to Consumers, describes state monitoring and oversight practices of assisted living facilities, and information that is available on state agency Web sites to consumers and family members about assisted living. This report was prepared by Robert Mollica, Ed.D., of the National Academy for State Health Policy.

Select to access the full report. A print copy of the report is available by sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

8.  Register Now to Learn More about AHRQ-Sponsored Keystone ICU Project in January

Register Now! Join AHRQ-researcher Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., and other faculty as they share methods, tools, and lessons learned from the Keystone ICU Project at a January 22 seminar in Baltimore. Thus far, the results of the project have led to reductions in nosocomial infections, ICU mortality, ICU length of stay, and health care costs.

The Keystone ICU Project, an AHRQ-sponsored quality improvement collaboration, is a partnership between the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center, and its member hospitals. CME/CNE credits may be obtained upon completion of this course.

9.  AHRQ Is Transitioning to Electronic Grant Applications

AHRQ continues its transition to electronic grant applications. All R01 research grant applications for the February 5 deadline must be submitted electronically using form set SF 424 (R&R). One-time registrations for both Grants.gov and the eRA Commons systems must be completed before application submission. Applicants should submit applications early—ideally 4 weeks before the deadline. This transition continues through May 2007. Select for additional information.

10.  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. These 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 Jane.Steele@ahrq.hhs.gov or (301) 427-1244 with your impact stories.

11.  AHRQ Issues New Funding Opportunity Announcement on Health Literacy

AHRQ, in partnership with NIH, is inviting investigators to submit R01 research grant applications under a new Funding Opportunity Announcement entitled "Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy." The goal is to increase scientific understanding of the nature of health literacy and its relationship to healthy behaviors, illness prevention and treatment, chronic disease management, health disparities, risk assessment of environmental factors, and health outcomes, including mental and oral health.

The deadline to submit applications is May 24, 2007. Select to access the announcement.

12.  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.

Lee S-Y, Bender DE, Ruiz RE, et al. Development of an easy-to-use Spanish health literacy test. Health Serv Res 2006 Aug;41(4 Pt 1):1392-1412. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Chang RK, Rodriguez S, Lee M, et al. Risk factors for deaths occurring within 30 days and 1 year after hospital discharge for cardiac surgery among pediatric patients. Am Heart J 2006 Aug;152(2);386-93. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Schroeder ME, Wolman RL, Wetterneck TB, et al. Tubing misload allows free flow event with smart intravenous infusion pump. Anesthesiology 2006 Aug;105(2):434-5. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Halpern SD, Asch DA, Shaked A, et al. Inadequate hepatitis B vaccination and post-exposure evaluation among transplant surgeons: prevalence, correlates, and implications. Ann Surg 2006 Aug;244(2);305-9. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Olfson M, Marcus SC, Shaffer D. Antidepressant drug therapy and suicide in severely depressed children and adults: A case-control study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2006 Aug;63(8):865-72. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of December 2006

 

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