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AHRQ Electronic Newsletter

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Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

May 19, 2008, Issue No. 257


AHRQ News and Numbers

About 12 percent of America's 228 million adults have the skills to manage their own health care proficiently. These skills, known collectively as health literacy, describe a person's ability to obtain and use health information to make appropriate health care decisions. It includes weighing the risks and benefits of different treatments, knowing how to calculate health insurance costs, and being able to fill out complex medical forms. A person with poor health literacy may not get good results from their health care and increase the risk of medical errors. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007 National Healthcare Disparities Report.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ's 2008 Annual Conference: Promoting Quality . Partnering for Change
  2. New guide for establishing a Patient Safety Advisory Council now available
  3. 2008 AHRQ Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) conference set for June 11-13
  4. AHRQ's consumer advice column now featured on AARP's Bulletin Today
  5. AHRQ's HCUP 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) now available
  6. AHRQ's triennial HCUP 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) now available
  7. Highlights from our most recent monthly newsletter
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ's 2008 Annual Conference: Promoting Quality . Partnering for Change

Register now for AHRQ's 2008 Annual Conference, which will be held September 7-10 in Bethesda, MD. Leading national experts will hold sessions on comparative effectiveness research, health information technology, disease prevention and care management, patient safety, and innovations in health care. Visit for additional information about attending this year's conference.

2.  New Guide for Establishing a Patient Safety Advisory Council Now Available

AHRQ researchers have developed a new guide for hospital leaders and others who want to learn how to get patients and families to partner with health care providers on community-based patient safety advisory councils. The Guide for Developing a Community-Based Patient Safety Advisory Council was developed through AHRQ's Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety grants program by a team of researchers led by Kathryn Leonhardt, M.D., of Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin. Select to access the guide.

3.  2008 AHRQ Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Conference Set for June 11-13

AHRQ's Annual Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Conference will be held at the Pooks Hill Marriott in Bethesda on June 11-13. The conference is the premier platform to network with Primary Care PBRNs from around the country; share successes and challenges, discover exceptional practices and learn from your colleagues. Select to register and to access the preliminary agenda for plenary sessions, workshops, and presentations. Online registration will be available until Monday, June 2. After this date, please contact Paula Gumbs at PGumbs@blseamon.com or 301-577-0244 ext 25 to register.

4.  AHRQ's Consumer Advice Column Now Featured on AARP's Bulletin Today

AHRQ's consumer advice columns are now being featured in the online version of AARP's Bulletin Today, a monthly news publication that reaches influential consumers and policymakers. Authored by AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., the columns are designed to help consumers better navigate the health care system. Select to read all of Dr. Clancy's advice columns.

5.  AHRQ's HCUP 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) Now Available

AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) featuring 2006 data was released in May. This inpatient care database includes all patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the uninsured. The data can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policymakers to use the NIS to identify, track, and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes. Select for additional information about the NIS including how to purchase the data. Data from the 2006 NIS can also be also accessed via HCUPnet, the free online data query system.

6.  AHRQ's Triennial HCUP 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) Now Available

AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) featuring 2006 data is available. The KID is the only dataset on hospital use, outcomes, and charges designed to study children under age 21, regardless of payer—including patients covered by private insurance, Medicaid, and uninsured. The data can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policymakers to use the KID to identify, track, and analyze national trends in pediatric health care issues on utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes. Topics include:

  • Rare conditions, such as congenital anomalies.
  • Common conditions, such as asthma
  • Economic burden of pediatric conditions, such as adolescent pregnancy.
  • Access to services.
  • Quality of care and patient safety.
  • Impact of health policy changes.

Earlier KIDs exist for data years 1997, 2000, and 2003. Select for additional information about the KID including how to purchase the data. Data from the 2006 KID can also be also accessed via HCUPnet, the free online data query system.

7.  Highlights From Our Most Recent Monthly Newsletter

Research Activities, AHRQ's monthly newsletter that summarizes AHRQ-funded research, has been redesigned. The new format and design includes colors that help make our products more recognizable and the addition of charts and graphics to better illustrate the research findings. Select to view the new redesigned publication. Among the key articles in the online issue of Research Activities this month are:

  • Telepsychiatry can help veterans with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

Telepsychiatry is one way to improve access to therapy for veterans suffering from combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who live in rural or underserved areas, concludes a new study.

Other articles include:

  • American Indian health advocates can learn to develop multimedia health projects for rural communities.
  • Studies examine pediatricians' and parents' attitudes toward childhood obesity.
  • Trio of factors affects low-income parents' ability to purchase health care for their families.

Select to read these articles and others.

8.  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.

Dickerson SS, Brewer CS, Kovner C, et al. Giving voice to registered nurses' decisions to work. Nurs Forum 2007 Jul-Sep; 42(3):132-42. Select to read the abstract in PubMed®.

Linnau KF, Blackmore CC, Kaufman R, et al. Do initial radiographs agree with crash site mechanism of injury in pelvic ring disruptions? A pilot study. J Orthop Trauma 2007 Jul; 21(6):375-80. Select to read the abstract in PubMed®.

Camargo EC, Furie KL, Singhal AB, et al. Acute brain infarct: detection and delineation with CT angiographic source images versus nonenhanced CT scans. Radiology 2007 Aug; 244(2):541-8. Select to read the abstract in PubMed®.

Lanfear DE, Jones PG, Marsh S, et al. Connexin37 (GJA4) genotype predicts survival after an acute coronary syndrome. Am Heart J 2007 Sep; 154(3):561-6. Select to read the abstract in PubMed®.

Miller CA, Tebb KP, Williams JK, et al. Chlamydial screening in urgent care visits: adolescent-reported acceptability associated with adolescent perception of clinician communication. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2007 Aug; 161(8):777-82. Select to read the abstract in 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 2008

 

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