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New Quality Initiatives Should Push Pace of Health Care Improvement

Patient Safety and Health IT Newsletter, Issue #68

AHRQ's Patient Safety and Health Information Technology E-Newsletter summarizes patient safety news and information from the Agency.

AHRQ Patient Safety and Health IT News:

  1. New Quality Initiatives Should Push Pace of Health Care Improvement
  2. Partnership for Patients Aims To Improve Care and Lower Costs
  3. New Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database Report Now Available
  4. Medication Side Effects, Injuries, Increase Dramatically
  5. Medication Management with Health IT Review Shows Improved Care Processes but Mixed Findings about Effectiveness
  6. New Resource Helps Improve Nursing Home Care
  7. AHRQ in the Patient Safety and Health IT Professional Literature—Some Useful Citations

 

AHRQ Patient Safety and Health IT News: 

1. New Quality Initiatives Should Push Pace of Health Care Improvement

New quality initiatives from the Federal government will focus attention on areas where quality and safety need significant improvement, AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 5. Currently, improvements in health care quality are progressing at a modest 2.3% rate per year, a rate that is "unacceptable." Two new initiatives will accelerate overall efforts to improve quality and safety of health care services and prevent or reduce hospital re-admissions and preventable injuries. The first initiative is the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, a collaborative, public-private effort that recognizes the importance of learning from local innovations in improving care. The strategy will pursue three broad aims: better care, healthy people/healthy communities; and affordable care. These aims will guide and assess local, State and Federal efforts to improve care quality. The second initiative is the Partnership for Patients, which aims to reduce preventable harm in the hospital and reduce re-admissions (go to item No. 2). Dr. Clancy�s testimony is available at http://www.ahrq.gov/news/test050511.htm. 

2. Partnership for Patients Aims To Improve Care and Lower Costs

Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, recently announced a new public-private partnership that brings together leaders of hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and the State and Federal governments to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly. Called the Partnership for Patients, the campaign has two goals: keep hospital patients from getting injured or sicker, and help reduce the number of readmissions. One measure is to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40% by the end of 2013. The second measure is to reduce hospital re-admissions by 20% by the end of 2013. The combined efforts of this partnership could save 60,000 American lives and reduce millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care over the next three years. Successful implementation could save as much as $35 billion to the health care system, including up to $10 billion in Medicare savings. Select to view a list of resources, including AHRQ patient safety tools and products, being used as part of the campaign. 

3. New Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database Report Now Available

The fifth annual edition of the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database Report provides results that hospitals can use to compare their patient safety culture to other U.S. hospitals. Newly published, the 2011 survey presents data from 472,397 staff in 1,032 U.S. hospitals and provides trending data from 512 hospitals on changes in safety culture perceptions over time. The full report contains detailed comparative data about various hospital characteristics, such as type and size, and respondent characteristics, including staff positions and direct patient contact. The 2011 report is available at . 

4. Medication Side Effects, Injuries, Increase Dramatically

The number of people treated in U.S. hospitals for illnesses and injuries from taking medicines jumped 52 percent between 2004 and 2008—from 1.2 million to 1.9 million—according to an April 13 News and Numbers from AHRQ. These medication side effects and injuries resulted from taking or being given the wrong medicine or dosage. The top five categories of medicines that together sent more than 838,000 people to emergency departments for treatment and release were: unspecified medicines (261,600); pain killers (118,100), antibiotics (95,100), tranquilizers and antidepressants (79,300), and corticosteroids and other hormones (71,400). More than half (53 percent) of hospitalized patients treated for side effects or other medication-related injuries were age 65 or older, 30 percent were 45 to 64, 14 percent were between 18 and 44, and 3 percent were under age 18. This News and Numbers finding is based on data in Medication-related Adverse Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008. 

5. Medication Management with Health IT Review Shows Improved Care Processes but Mixed Findings about Effectiveness

A new AHRQ-funded report, Enabling Medication Management through Health Information Technology, examines the evidence and research gaps regarding the impact of health information technology on all phases of the medication management process. Areas examined include prescribing and ordering, order communication, dispensing, administration and monitoring as well as education and reconciliation. Select to download the report. 

6. New Resource Helps Improve Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes can improve the services they provide to residents using a new AHRQ-funded resource. The On-Time Quality Improvement Program Manual provides an overview of the tools, key action steps, implementation tips, and firsthand knowledge from current program users about what works best. It targets State health departments, Quality Improvement Organizations, nursing home administrators involved in quality improvement efforts, and frontline staff. Another key component is the effective use of health information technology for clinical decision-making to identify and treat high-risk residents before problems develop. Select to access the On-Time Quality Improvement Program Manual. 

7. AHRQ in the Patient Safety and Health IT Professional Literature—Some Useful Citations

We are providing the following hyperlinks to abstracts of journal articles describing AHRQ-funded research. If you are having problems accessing the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems, ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Glance LG, Dick AW, Osler TM, et al. The association between cost and quality in trauma: is greater spending associated with higher-quality care? Ann Surg 2010 Aug; 252(2):217-22. Select to access the abstract.

Galanter WL, Hier DB, Jao C, et al. Computerized physician order entry of medications and clinical decision support can improve problem list documentation compliance. Int J Med Inform 2010 May;79(5): 332-38. Select to access the abstract.

Sarkar U, Karter AJ, Liu JY, et al. The Literacy Divide: Health literacy and the use of an Internet-based patient portal in an integrated health system—Results from the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Health Commun 2010;15(Suppl 2): 183-96. Select to access the abstract.

AHRQ's Patient Safety and Health Information Technology E-Newsletter Contact:
Please address comments and questions regarding the newsletter to Cathy Tokarski at cathy.tokarski@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Current as of May 2011
Internet Citation: New Quality Initiatives Should Push Pace of Health Care Improvement: Patient Safety and Health IT Newsletter, Issue #68. May 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/patient-safety/68.html

 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

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