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June 26, 2003, Issue No. 103

AHRQ News and Numbers

There were 113,379 lower leg, foot, and toe amputations performed in U.S. community hospitals in 2001. Patients were hospitalized an average of 11.3 days, and total charges averaged $33,562 [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, HCUPnet.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ Director to provide update on research priorities at the AcademyHealth meeting on June 27
  2. AHRQ announces expanded bioterrorism portfolio and new RFA
  3. Children's dental care access in Medicaid CHIRI™ Issue Brief 2
  4. AHRQ and American College of Physicians partner to create patient safety section in Annals of Internal Medicine
  5. Call for abstracts for Workshop on Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research in January
  6. Do you know how AHRQ's research is being used?
  7. Clinical highlights on lower respiratory tract infection
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Director to Provide Update on Research Priorities at the AcademyHealth Meeting on June 27

AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D., will chair a briefing at the AcademyHealth annual research meeting on June 27 from 1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville. This session will provide an update on AHRQ research priorities, future directions, and funding opportunities. The session will include an explicit focus on the challenge of accelerating the diffusion of health services research into practice and policy.

2.  AHRQ Announces Expanded Bioterrorism Portfolio and New RFA

Working with HHS' Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, AHRQ issued a press release announcing the findings of an Agency-funded project conducted at Weill Medical College/Cornell University on medication/vaccine distribution. The study findings, which offer practical lessons for hospitals that are planning for a possible bioterrorist event, are part of a larger portfolio of ongoing research outlined in the press release. Additionally, AHRQ recently released a program announcement on the availability of 1- to 2-year research grants for work that examines and promotes the public health care system's readiness for a bioterrorist event and other public health emergencies through the development of new evidence, tools and models. Select to access our press release and more information on the portfolio. Select to access the NIH Guide for more information on the program announcement.

3.  Children's Dental Care Access in Medicaid CHIRI™ Issue Brief 2

Dental care remains the most prevalent unmet health care need for children. This CHIRI™ Issue Brief, "The Role of Medical Care Use and Dentist Participation," reports on children's dental care use in the Alabama and Georgia Medicaid programs before these States' efforts to improve dentist participation in Medicaid. The Issue Brief findings underline the importance of:

  • Early access to dental care and the use of preventive dental services.
  • Comprehensive dental benefits in public insurance programs for children.
  • Multipronged strategies for improving access to dental care that capitalize on where children and their families seek care.

Select to access the Issue Brief.

4.  AHRQ and American College of Physicians Partner To Create Patient Safety Section In Annals of Internal Medicine

The June 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, published by the American College of Physicians, introduces a new section called "Improving Patient Care," which will feature articles on quality improvement and patient safety. AHRQ is providing support to defray the cost of including the additional pages in the journal. However, the Agency will not be conducting any editorial review or endorsement of its content. The first installment contains an editorial co-authored by Paul Barach, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Chicago, and Donald M. Berwick, M.D., President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, both recognized experts in patient safety and quality improvement. It also includes the first in a series of articles called "Patient Safety and the Reliability of Health Care Systems."

5.  Call for Abstracts for Workshop on Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research in January

A call for abstracts has been issued for the Fifth Annual Workshop on Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research. The Workshop will be held January 21-23, 2004, in Tucson, AZ. AHRQ and the Drug Information Association are sponsoring the workshop to present and discuss new and interesting findings in the varied fields of pharmaceutical outcomes research. Lynn Bosco, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Pharmaceutical Studies at AHRQ, and Hugh Tilson, M.D., Dr.P.H., chair of the Steering Committee for the AHRQ-sponsored Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics, will co-chair the program.

6.  Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed people's lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. Impact case studies describe AHRQ research findings in action. These case studies have been used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. We would like to know if you are aware of any impact your AHRQ-funded research has had on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

7.  Clinical Highlights on Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

AHRQ issued a clinical highlights that summarizes research on improving outcomes for nursing home residents with lower respiratory tract infection. The signs and symptoms of pneumonia, in particular, are not apparent in elderly patients, making diagnosis more complicated. The highlights explains two predictive models to help physicians better determine when nursing home residents have pneumonia and when they can be treated in the nursing home rather than transferring them to a hospital. The tools were developed by AHRQ grantee David Mehr, M.D., and colleagues and published in several journal articles. This highlights provides all the information in one place. Select to access the highlights.

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.

Mahomed NN, Barrett JA, Katz JN, et al. Rates and outcomes of primary and revision total hip replacement in the United States Medicare population. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2003 Jan;85-A(1):27-32. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Ngo-Metzger Q, Massagli MP, Clarridge BR, et al. Linguistic and cultural barriers to care: perspectives of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants. J Gen Intern Med 2003 Jan;18(1):44-52. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bradley EH, Holmboe ES, Mattera JA, et al. The roles of senior management in quality improvement efforts: what are the key components? J Healthc Manag 2003 Jan-Feb;48(1):15-28. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Winickoff JP, Hillis VJ, Palfrey JS, et al. A smoking cessation intervention for parents of children who are hospitalized for respiratory illness: the Stop Tobacco Outreach Program. Pediatrics 2003 Jan;111(1):140-5. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Fisman DN, Hook 3rd EW, Goldie SJ. Estimating the costs and benefits of screening monogamous, heterosexual couples for unrecognized infection with herpes simplex virus type 2. Sex Transm Infect 2003 Feb;79(1):45-52. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

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Current as of June 2003


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