Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Research Activities

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

February 2007, No. 318


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Diagnostic errors that harm outpatients are typically the result of multiple individual and system breakdowns

Patient Safety and Quality

Shifting from a culture of blame to a culture of safety in nursing homes could help identify and prevent medical errors
Physician, patient, and pharmacy outreach reminders can improve recommended laboratory monitoring for certain medications
Few patients seek compensation for medical injuries through New Zealand's no-fault medical malpractice system
Not adjusting for pre-existing health problems may have exaggerated the number of deaths due to medical injury
A small proportion of patients are prescribed a medication that can interact with the QT-prolonging medication they also take
Mitral valve repair, when compared with replacement, leads to better quality of life

Disparities/Minority Health

Racial disparities in care vary widely among Medicare health plans and are only weakly correlated with overall quality of care
Little information exists on the willingness of different racial and ethnic groups to participate in genetic research
Proportion of black residents, profit status, and community locale influence the type of care provided at U.S. nursing homes

Child/Adolescent Health

Eleven medications account for one-third of medication errors that harm hospitalized children
Many children do not receive recommended well-child visits during the year, especially disadvantaged children
Children's deaths after cardiac surgery seem mostly determined by age and the type of cardiac surgery

Women's Health

Some pregnant women are still prescribed medications with the potential to harm the fetus
Japanese and Filipino women are much less likely than white women to undergo breast-conserving therapy for breast cancer

Health Information Technology

Computerized and age-specific drug alerts can reduce both inappropriate prescribing of drugs and unnecessary drug alerts
Standardizing data input for electronic health records may improve their potential to measure care quality

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Evidence is lacking to support many off-label uses of atypical antipsychotic drugs
Newer class of antidepressants is similar in effectiveness, but side effects differ

Primary Care Research

Simultaneous control of risk factors for diabetes complications is difficult to achieve
A protocol for adjusting diabetes medications can improve diabetes management and patient blood-sugar levels
Primary care patients with pain and psychosocial problems benefit from nurse telephone calls
Demand for primary care internists has decreased, while demand for hospital-based internists has increased
Followup care after total hip replacement could be improved

Emergency Medicine

Modest levels of cost-sharing for emergency department care decrease emergency department visits without worsening health
Medications can aid endotracheal intubation of critically ill or injured patients who are not in cardiac arrest
The likelihood of hemorrhage due to pelvic fracture can be estimated from initial pelvic x-ray, pulse, and hematocrit

End-of-Life Care

Advance care plans of nursing home residents vary by age, race/ethnicity, and income
Seminars can improve nurses' skills in discussing end-of-life issues with heart failure patients and their families

Health Care Utilization, Costs, and Financing

Employer-sponsored insurance coverage of smoking cessation treatments could save employers and insurers money
Growth in local jobs that offer health insurance can move the working poor off the Medicaid program
Inpatient lumbar surgery rates remained stable from 1994 to 2000, but outpatient surgery increased

Public Health Preparedness

Los Angeles County hospitals are limited in disaster preparedness and severely limited in surge capacity

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ Report Finds Safety-Net Hospitals Struggling


New members of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are announced
Research Briefs

AHRQ Publication No. 07-0018
Current as of February 2007


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


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care