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Grant final reports now available from NTIS

The following grant final reports are now available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Each listing identifies the project's principal investigator, his or her affiliation, grant number, and project period and provides a brief description of the project.

Records of all 750,000 documents archived at NTIS—including many AHRQ documents and final reports from all completed AHRQ-supported grants—can now be searched on the NTIS Web site. For information about findings from the projects described here, please access the relevant final reports at the NTIS Web site. Also, all items in the database from 1997 to the present can be downloaded from the Web site. Go to www.ntis.gov for more information.

Editor's Note: In addition to the final reports, you can access information about these projects from several other sources. Most of these researchers have published interim findings in the professional literature, and many of their articles have been summarized in Research Activities during the course of the project.

To find information presented in back issues of Research Activities, select "Search Research Activities." To search for information, enter either the grant or contract number or the principal investigator's last name in the query line. A reference librarian can help you find related journal articles through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed®.

Prescription Benefits as a Quality Measure, Barry G. Saver, Washington University, Seattle. AHRQ grant HS10318, project period 9/30/99-9/29/02.

Researchers studied the impact of having or not having a generous prescription benefit, and the effect this had on hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and/or congestive heart failure among Medicare beneficiaries in a group-model HMO. Findings indicated an increase in medication accessibility, as well as medication adherence, and some significant decreases in hospital utilization. However, there were no differences in blood pressure, glycemic control, or lipid levels. Additional findings show that out-of-pocket prescription spending was lower than what has been reported nationally, and there was a cost offset from having a prescription benefit.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-105210; 92 pp, $34.00 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Hospitalized Care for Patient With Work-Related Conditions, Allard E. Dembe, Sc.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. AHRQ grant HS11497, project period 7/1/01-12/31/02.

Researchers examined three years of data (1997-1999) from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to describe inpatient hospital care for patients with occupational injuries and illnesses covered by workers' compensation (WC) insurance. The average total charge per WC hospitalization was $14,966, compared with $11,852 for hospitalizations paid by other sources. After adjusting for age, sex, diagnostic grouping, and hospital location, inpatient hospital care for work-related conditions covered under WC was found to involve 13 to 24 percent more procedures, have a slightly longer (4 percent) length of stay, and take 23 to 54 percent less time from admission to performance of the principal procedure than inpatient care for comparable diagnoses paid for by other sources. Inpatient care for disc and spinal disorders paid by WC had 16 percent higher charges than similar non-WC cases. Trends over 3 years showed a steady decline in the number of WC hospitalizations, but a sharp 16 percent rise in total charges per WC stay.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-102774; 28 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Meeting People Where They Are: Palliative Care Across Health Care Settings. Susan K. Rogers, B.S.N., Americans for Better Care of the Dying, Washington, DC. AHRQ grant HS12090, project period 7/1/02-6/30/03.

This project provided support for a conference held to expand the findings from the Institute of Medicine report, Improving Palliative Care for Cancer, to hospice and palliative care professionals, present effective models of palliative care being used throughout the Nation, foster increased interdisciplinary care of dying patients and their families, and promote increased access to interdisciplinary palliative care through attention to cultural barriers.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-102772; 24 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Using DEA to Profile Surgeon Efficiency. Jon A. Chilingerian, Ph.D., Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. AHRQ grant HS09562, project period 9/30/97-9/29/99.

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that estimates of clinical efficiency based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) are stable, identify factors that explain variations in clinical efficiency for surgeons and hospitals, and identify surgeons and hospitals with both high efficiency and low mortality profiles that may serve as potential role models for clinical improvement. Findings indicate that the DEA estimates of efficiency were consistent over 1994 and 1995. Volume was not associated with a surgeon's efficiency, however, the number of years in practice was associated with higher clinical inefficiency. Annual completion of more than 50 hours of continuing medical education was associated with higher efficiency, and physicians operating in hospitals where heart surgeries represented a greater portion of all admissions were more efficient.

Abstract, executive summary, final report, and appendixes (NTIS accession no. PB2005-102773; 60 pp, $31.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2001: A Medical Informatics Odyssey. Suzanne B. Henry, Ph.D., American Medical Informatics, Bethesda, MD. AHRQ grant HS10976, project period 9/30/01-9/29/02.

This project provided support for a conference held November 3-7, 2001, in Washington, D.C. The overall aim of this conference was to critically examine and promote the role of informatics research in enhancing patient safety and preventing medical errors.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-102770; 20 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Palliative and Supportive Care in Advanced Heart Failure. Sarah Goodlin, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT. AHRQ grant HS13804, project period 9/20/02-9/29/03.

This project provided support for a conference held September 5-6, 2002. The goals were to: (1) identify gaps in current knowledge, practice, and research relating to patients with congestive heart failure and their families; (2) prepare a consensus statement about care for patients with advanced heart failure, including optimal medical management, advance care planning, and other care options; (3) identify a research agenda on care for advanced heart failure; and (4) develop partnerships with organizations such as the major societies for cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, and congestive heart failure.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-102775; 36 pp, $29.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Statistical Study on Measures of Continuity of Care. W. Wendy Lou, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. AHRQ grant HS09474, project period 9/02/98-8/31/02.

This project supported development of a statistical framework for the study of continuity of care. A new continuity measure was developed and studied and is the first statistic to simultaneously capture both the concentration of providers as well as the sequential continuity over a series of patient visits. The statistical methodology was applied to datasets from the CMS Health Care Financing Administration and the Mount Sinai AIDS Center.

Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-106483; 14 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

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