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June 6, 2003, Issue No. 101

AHRQ News and Numbers

A total of 8,783 bone marrow transplants were performed in U.S. community hospitals in 2000. Patients were hospitalized an average of 26.4 days, and total charges averaged $143,504 [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2000, HCUPnet.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. New study finds patient safety problems in hospitalized children are substantial
  2. Task Force recommends more research is needed to determine usefulness of routine screening for dementia
  3. Fourth issue of AHRQ WebM&M is online now
  4. Technical assistance workshop and conference call for patient safety challenge grants set for June 12
  5. Surge capacity and regionalization issues: third free AHRQ Web-assisted audio conference on bioterrorism preparedness
  6. Bioterrorism and public health emergency preparedness program announcement
  7. Child Health Services Research meeting set for June 26 in Nashville
  8. Conference on the Scientific Basis of Health Services scheduled for September
  9. Guidelines added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  10. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  New Study Finds Patient Safety Problems in Hospitalized Children Are Substantial

AHRQ researchers found that children experienced substantial numbers of potentially preventable patient safety problems during hospital stays in 1997. This first, comprehensive examination of the types of patient safety problems that children experience in hospitals found that rates of patient safety problems range from 0.2 (foreign body left during procedure) to 154.0 (birth trauma) per 10,000 discharge records. The study, "Patient Safety Events During Pediatric Hospitalization," by Marlene R. Miller, M.D., M.Sc. (formerly of AHRQ), Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D., and Chunliu Zhan, M.D., Ph.D., is published in the June 2 issue of the journal Pediatrics. Select to access the press release.

2.  Task Force Recommends More Research Is Needed to Determine Usefulness of Routine Screening For Dementia

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routine screening for dementia in older adults. However, primary care clinicians should remain alert to signs of dementia whenever deterioration is suspected based on direct observation, patient report, or concerns raised by family members, friends, or caretakers. The Task Force recommendation appears in the June 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Select to access the press release and select to access the recommendation.

3.  Fourth Issue of AHRQ WebM&M Is Online Now

The fourth issue of AHRQ WebM&M is now online. This month's issue features a case of antibiotic overuse, a woman who was mistakenly told she had miscarried when she was still pregnant, a child receiving an overdose of nifedipine, and a suicide attempt by an unsupervised hospitalized patient. This month's Spotlight case describes a young woman whose abdominal pain was misdiagnosed in the ER, which led to a ruptured appendix, multiple complications, and prolonged hospitalization. As always, each Spotlight case is accompanied by a slide set that can be downloaded in a newly redesigned slide presentation format. Cases from previous issues are still available under "Archives."

4.  Technical Assistance Workshop and Conference Call for Patient Safety Challenge Grants Set for June 12

AHRQ is sponsoring a workshop and conference call on Thursday, June 12, from 10:30 am to 12 noon EDT, to assist potential grant applicants for AHRQ's Safe Practices Implementation Challenge Grants. AHRQ, in conjunction with the HHS Patient Safety Task Force, is providing funds to help health care institutions assess risks and known hazards to patients that may lead to preventable injuries and to implement safe practices that show evidence of eliminating or reducing the known risks and hazards associated with the processes of care. For a copy of the request for applications (RFA), please refer to the April 4, 2003, NIH Guide.

5.  Surge Capacity and Regionalization Issues: Third Free AHRQ Web-Assisted Audio Conference on Bioterrorism Preparedness

AHRQ announces the third event in its new series of five free Web-assisted audio conference calls on bioterrorism and health systems preparedness. The third Web-assisted audio conference is scheduled for Tuesday, June 17, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., EDT. It will focus on surge capacity assessments and regionalization issues. These 90-minute audio conferences are designed to share the latest health services research findings, promising practices, and other important information with state and local health officials and key health systems decisionmakers.

6.  Bioterrorism and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program Announcement

AHRQ issued a program announcement for 1- to 2-year research grants that will examine and promote the health care system's readiness for a bioterrorist event and other public health emergencies through the development of new evidence, tools and models. Receipt dates for applications submitted in response to this PA are July 17, 2003, January 14, 2004, January 14, 2005, and January 17, 2006. Select to access the program announcement.

7.  Child Health Services Research Meeting Set for June 26 in Nashville

The annual Child Health Services Research meeting will be held June 26 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The meeting will spotlight plenary sessions and four tracks: skill building, cutting-edge research, cutting-edge policy, and priority topics in child health research. Researchers are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and submit an organized program of findings from child health services research for a full 90-minute session. Select to access the preliminary program and the registration form.

8.  Conference on the Scientific Basis of Health Services Scheduled for September

The Fifth Conference on the Scientific Basis of Health Services will be hosted by AHRQ and AcademyHealth, September 20-23, 2003, in Washington, DC. This series has provided an international forum for the exchange of research and experience in the use of health services research to improve access to and the quality of health care systems. The 2003 conference is organized around the following five themes:

  • National Strategies for Organizing Health Services Research.
  • Using Evidence to Improve Clinical Practice.
  • Using Evidence to Improve Health Services Management.
  • Using Evidence to Improve Policymaking.
  • Using Evidence to Alleviate the Burden of Specific Diseases.

Select to access more information.

9.  Guidelines Added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

Select to access what's new at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC)—a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. To subscribe to the NGC Weekly Update Service, which notifies you via E-mail when new features and guidelines become available, select to access the NGC Web site registration. AHRQ also has available a supply of NGC tutorials on CD-ROM. The tutorial walks you through a series of informative demonstrations and scenarios on using the NGC. The CD-ROM is available free of charge by calling the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

10.  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.

Heslin KC, Anderson RM, Gelberg L. Case management and access to services for homeless women. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2003 Feb;14(1):122-35. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Poston WS, Haddock CK, Conard MW, et al. Assessing depression in the cardiac patient. Behav Modif 2003 Jan;27(1):26-36. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Duetz MS, Schneeweiss S, Maclure M, et al. Physician gender and changes in drug prescribing after the implementation of reference pricing in British Columbia. Clin Ther 2003 Jan;25(1):273-84. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Grembowski DE, Martin D, Diehr P, et al. Managed care, access to specialists, and outcomes among primary care patients with pain. Health Serv Res 2003 Feb;38(1 Part 1):1-19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Jaffee KD and Perloff JD. An ecological analysis of racial differences in low birthweight: implications for maternal and child health social work. Health Soc Work 2003 Feb;28(1):9-22. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

If you are a new subscriber or would like to reference information in a previous issue, an archive of this newsletter can be found on AHRQ's Web site at

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

Current as of June 2003


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


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