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March 19, 2004, Issue No. 128

AHRQ News and Numbers

About 1 in 14 pediatric hospital stays is for a mental disorder. Affective disorders (primarily depression) accounted for over 74,000 hospital stays in 2000, especially among children ages 13 to 17. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Fact Book No. 4: Care of Children and Adolescents in U.S. Hospitals.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ Director testifies before Ways and Means Subcommittee on HHS quality issues
  2. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Web seminar set for April 20
  3. 2004 Building Bridges Conference
  4. Participation in Government Health Services Research Grants: Workshop for Organizational and Management Researchers
  5. Job openings at AHRQ
  6. New MS Word® downloads at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  7. Calling all AHRQ researchers! "Help us to help you."
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Director Testifies Before Ways and Means Subcommittee on HHS Quality Issues

"AHRQ researchers are health care 'problem solvers,' working with clinicians, patients, and others to help them make the critical health care decisions they face every day," said AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, in her March 18 testimony before the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Dr. Clancy testified on AHRQ and HHS initiatives to improve the quality of health care in America, especially initiatives to improve the quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries and people enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. She also emphasized the need for robust partnerships between the public and private sectors. Select to read the testimony.

2.  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Web Seminar Set for April 20

Register now for a 2-hour Web-assisted audio conference on AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) on Tuesday, April 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., EST. The seminar, "MEPS: The Fundamentals," is an introductory course providing a technical orientation to the survey. Learn how to access and use MEPS data and documentation, distinguish among different levels of files, identify variables of interest, and gain an understanding of basic concepts needed for merging and pooling MEPS data files. Select to access the AcademyHealth Web site for complete program and registration information.

3.  2004 Building Bridges Conference

Mark your calendar. AHRQ and AAHP-HIAA are co-sponsoring the 2004 Building Bridges Conference, Research on the Cutting Edge: Adopting Evidence for the Real World, to be held April 1-2 in Miami. Featured speakers include AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D.; Claude Lenfant, M.D., former NHLBI Director; and Judith Hibbard, M.D., University of Oregon. This meeting provides an opportunity to share innovative research models and examine effective methods for translating evidence-based research into improved health care policies, medical decisionmaking processes, and clinical practice.

4.  Participation in Government Health Services Research Grants: Workshop for Organizational and Management Researchers

AHRQ and the NIH are sponsoring a 1-day workshop to facilitate increased contributions to their grant programs by investigators with a solid grounding in mainstream organizational and management research theories and methods. The work will be held on April 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at AHRQ in Rockville, MD. This workshop will:

  • Introduce HHS agencies that sponsor research grants in this area.
  • Introduce ways to combine public health needs and organizational research problems.
  • Describe ways to participate in mental health, substance abuse, and general medical health services research (including application development).
  • Help participants develop concept papers and grant applications.

There is no charge, but reservations are required. Deadline to enroll is April 14.

5.  Job Openings at AHRQ

AHRQ is seeking applicants for the position of Public Health Analyst in the Center for Outcomes and Evidence. Select to read this and other vacancy announcements.

6.  New MS Word® Downloads at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

A new MS Word® download feature is now available on the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) Web site, an online public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The complete summary for each guideline represented in the NGC database can be downloaded and viewed on all computers that use Microsoft Word®. NGC content also may be downloaded to Personal Digital Assistants that can read Microsoft Word® documents. For more information on this new view of NGC content, select to access the MS Word® download page available on the NGC Web site.

7.  Calling All AHRQ Researchers! "Help Us to Help You."

As you may know, AHRQ can help you promote the findings of your research, but we can't do it without you. AHRQ has been successful in working with our grantees and contractors to promote findings to the media and to transfer knowledge based on the research to appropriate audiences in the health care community. However, we know that we can do better. We need you to notify us when you have an article accepted for publication. Please send a copy of the manuscript, anticipated publication date, and contact information for the journal and your institution's PR office to your AHRQ project officer and to AHRQ Public Affairs at Your manuscript will be reviewed to determine what level of marketing we will pursue. Please be assured that AHRQ always honors the journal embargo. Thank you for your cooperation.

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.

Cone DC, Richardson LD, Todd KH, et al. Health care disparities in emergency medicine. Acad Emerg Med 2003 Nov;10(11):1176-83. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Horn SD, Smout RJ. Effect of prematurity on respiratory syncytial virus hospital resource use and outcomes. J Pediatr 2003 Nov;143(5 Suppl):S133-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mikuls TR, Mudano AS, Pulley L, et al. The association of race/ethnicity with the receipt of traditional and alternative arthritis-specific health care. Med Care 2003 Nov;41(11):1233-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bates DW, Kuperman GJ, Wang S, et al. Ten commandments for effective clinical decision support: making the practice of evidence-based medicine a reality. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2003 Nov-Dec;10(6):531-40. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bishai DM, Ferris DC, Litaker MS. What is the least costly strategy to evaluate cervical abnormalities in rural women? Comparing telemedicine, local practitioners, and expert physicians. Med Decis Making 2003 Nov-Dec;23(6):463-70. 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 March 2004


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