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November 14, 2003, Issue No. 115

AHRQ News and Numbers

In 2000, the total amount spent on health care by people living at home was $627.8 billion, with over a third of the expenses related to hospital stays. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #27: National Health Care Expenses in the U.S. Community Population, 2000 (PDF File, 259 KB; PDF Help).]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ awards small research grants to Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks
  2. Latest issue of AHRQ WebM&M is now online
  3. AHRQ minority research infrastructure support program announcement
  4. Studies of the economics of cancer prevention, screening, and care program announcement
  5. New AHRQ data show 12 percent of U.S. women aren't getting regular Pap tests
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Awards Small Research Grants to Primary Care Practice-based Research Networks

AHRQ has awarded small research grants to eight Primary Care Practice-based Research Networks. PBRNs are groups of community-based clinicians who work with academic researchers to study questions related to primary care practice. The funded projects, to be carried out over the next 1 to 2 years, cover a range of issues, including prevention of adolescent smoking and childhood obesity, use of electronic medical records to improve care, and the application of tools for translating research into practice. The principal investigators and grantee institutions affiliated with the PBRNs receiving awards are:

Adolfo Ariza, M.D., Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago.
David Bates, M.D., Brigham & Women's Health Care System, Boston.
Arthur Hartz, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City.
Jonathan Klein, M.D., University of Rochester, NY.
Grace Kuo, Pharm.D., Baylor University, Houston.
Donald Nease, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Jonathan Temte, M.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
Barbara Yawn, M.D., Olmstead Medical Center, Rochester, MN.

2.  Latest Issue of AHRQ WebM&M Is Now Online

The eighth issue of the AHRQ WebM&M online patient safety journal is now available at the WebM&M Web site. This month's articles include an unclear verbal order leading to administration of the wrong drug; an infant who died after a drug mixup; a delay in anesthesia for c-section that caused an infant to be born with neurologic damage; and a patient given an antipsychotic drug intravenously who then required a pacemaker. This month's Spotlight case is in surgery and describes a patient who had heart surgery and had a suction tip inadvertently left inside his chest. As always, the spotlight case includes a downloadable set of slides. By completing the spotlight quiz, clinicians can receive CME credit and trainees can receive certification in patient safety, thereby helping to meet new Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education requirements for systems-based learning. Cases and CME from previous issues are still available under "Archives" and "Past Issues" on the site. There are now 5,500 registrants viewing the journal regularly.

3.  AHRQ Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program Announcement

AHRQ released a program announcement for the Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) to increase the capacity of academic institutions predominantly or substantially serving racial and ethnic minority populations. The faculty at these institutions are to conduct health services research that has the capacity for being disseminated, implemented, and translated into practice and policy. The intent of the research infrastructure program is to strengthen the research environments of minority institutions through grant support to develop and/or expand existing capacities for conducting research in health services. The deadline for applications is February 1 annually for the next 3 years. Select to access the NIH Guide to read the program announcement.

4.  Studies of the Economics of Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Care Program Announcement

AHRQ released a program announcement for grant applications for research directed at increasing the knowledge base in the area of the economic aspects of cancer prevention, screening, and care. The goal of this program announcement is to generate new economic knowledge that will promote the optimal design of cancer prevention and control trial studies and interventions and will facilitate the formulation of effective health care policy related to cancer prevention and control. Select to access the NIH Guide to read the program announcement.

5.  New AHRQ Data Show 12 Percent of U.S. Women Aren't Getting Regular Pap Tests

In 2001, approximately 12 percent of U.S. women ages 18 to 64 had not received Pap test screening within the previous 3 years, according to a new statistical brief released by AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women over 18 who have been sexually active and still have an intact cervix be screened at least every 3 years. The 2001 MEPS data show that women between the ages of 18 and 64 who were uninsured or covered by Medicaid or other public health insurance were less likely to have had Pap tests than those with private health insurance. The data also show that Hispanic women were less likely than white or black women to have received a Pap test within the last 3 years. Select to access the Statistical Brief for details on Use of the Pap Test as a Cancer Screening Tool—2001 (PDF File, 264 KB; PDF Help).

6.  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.

Cooper PF, Vistnes J. Workers' decisions to take up offered health insurance coverage: assessing the importance of out-of-pocket premium costs. Med Care 2003 Jul;41(7 Suppl):III35-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

London AS, Foote-Arday CE, Fleishman JA, et al. Use of alternative therapists among people in care for HIV in the United States. Am J Public Health 2003 Jun;93(6):980-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Levine DM, Bone LR, Hill MN, et al. The effectiveness of a community/academic health center partnership in decreasing the level of blood pressure in an urban African-American population. Ethn Dis 2003 Summer;163(3):354-61. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stafford M, Marmot M. Neighborhood deprivation and health: does it affect us all equally? Int J Epidemiol 2003 Jun;32(3):357-66. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Nietert PJ, Silver RM. Patterns of hospital admissions and emergency room visits among patients with scleroderma in South Carolina, USA. J Rheumatol 2003 Jun;30(6):1238-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Coyle YM, Aragaki CC, Hynan LS, et al. Effectiveness of acute asthma care among inner-city adults. Arch Intern Med 2003 Jul 14;103(13):1591-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of November 2003


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