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April 8, 2005, Issue No. 164

AHRQ News and Numbers

Between 1994 and 2000, there were marked improvements in preventable hospital admission rates for diabetes, adult asthma, and other conditions. However, hospitalization rates increased for conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (20 percent), hypertension (13 percent) and bacterial pneumonia (9 percent). [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Fact Book No. 5: Preventable Hospitalizations: Window Into Primary and Preventive Care, 2000.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ Director issues quality challenge at National summit
  2. AHRQ releases State-specific quality measures data
  3. Deadline is April 22 for submissions for innovation café at AHRQ patient safety/HIT meeting
  4. National Advisory Council meeting scheduled for April 15
  5. Free Web conference on Mass Casualty Care: Overlooked Community Resources set for May 17
  6. Call for abstracts for AHRQ's PBRN annual research meeting July 21-22
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Director Issues Quality Challenge at National Summit

AHRQ brought together nearly 250 health professionals, policymakers, purchasers, health systems decisionmakers, and others on April 4 for its national summit on "Improving Health Care for All Americans: Celebrating Success, Measuring Progress, Moving Forward." At the meeting, AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., urged leading health care experts to work together to accept a new quality challenge—applying what we know about best practices and what works toward achieving a "quality" future for American health care. The full text and video (please note the system requirements to view the video) of Dr. Clancy's speech, along with a summary of the meeting—which showcased successful national, regional, and local efforts to improve health care quality and reduce racial and ethnic disparities—are now available.

2.  AHRQ Releases State-Specific Quality Measures Data

During the summit, AHRQ announced the release of State-level health care quality data compilations based on the congressionally mandated 2004 National Healthcare Quality Report. The data are designed to help State health officials more easily identify areas where they are doing well and those where quality improvement is necessary.

3.  Deadline is April 22 for Submissions for Innovation Café at AHRQ Patient Safety/HIT Meeting

AHRQ is seeking displays for an Innovation Café to promote the dissemination of new patient safety and health information technology (IT) advances during the Agency's annual patient safety and health IT meeting. The meeting, Patient Safety and Health Information Technology: Making the Health Care System Safer through Implementation and Innovation, is scheduled for June 6-10, at the Washington DC Convention Center. The Innovation Café is designed to highlight new findings, products, tools, best practices, and implementation methods to improve health care safety and quality, including IT, that can bridge the gap between research and practice to improve health care safety and quality. Abstracts and applications are to be submitted via E-mail by April 22.

4.  National Advisory Council Meeting Scheduled for April 15

The AHRQ National Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on Friday, April 15, at the John M. Eisenberg Room (Room 800), Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington DC. The Council will hear from CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, M.D., on the quality strategy at CMS. Select for an overview of the Council.

5.  Free Web Conference on Mass Casualty Care: Overlooked Community Resources Set for May 17

Mark your calendar! AHRQ is sponsoring a free Web conference on Mass Casualty Care: Overlooked Community Resources on May 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The Web conference will focus on potential resources for providing mass casualty care beyond the emergency department—in nursing homes, former (shuttered or converted) hospitals, and primary care networks and clinics. Speakers Lucy A. Savitz, Ph.D., M.B.A., Research Triangle Institute, Inc., and Andrea Hassol, M.S.P.H., Abt Associates, will share results from two ongoing AHRQ research studies. Debra Berg, M.D., from the New York City Primary Care Networks/Clinics will describe their project currently supported by HRSA. Information on how to register for the Web conference will be announced through the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter and AHRQ Bioterrorism Preparedness Listserv® within the next 2 weeks.

6.  Call for Abstracts for AHRQ's PBRN Annual Research Meeting July 21-22

AHRQ has issued a call for abstracts for its Annual Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Research Conference: Putting Practice into Research and Research into Practice. The meeting will be held July 21-22 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. Proposals related to work conducted in a primary care PBRN are welcome from researchers, network directors, and clinician members or network staff working within a PBRN. Additionally, AHRQ will award a limited number of $750 scholarships to general conference participants and conference presenters to offset travel and other costs, especially in cases of demonstrated financial need. Select to submit an abstract or scholarship application and for more information. Abstracts are due April 29.

7.  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.

Gordon BD, Asplin BR. Using online analytical processing to manage emergency department operations. Acad Emerg Med 2004 Nov;11(11):1206-12. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stafford RS, Li D, Davis RB, et al. Modeling the ability of risk adjusters to reduce adverse selection in managed care. Appl Health Econ Health Policy 2004;3(2):107-14. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Balas MC, Scott LD, Rogers AE. The prevalence and nature of errors and near errors reported by hospital staff nurses. Appl Nurs Res 2004 Nov;17(4):224-30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Gray JE, Goldmann DA. Medication errors in the neonatal intensive care unit: special patients, unique issues. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2004 Nov;89(6):F472-3. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sherman KE, Sherman SN, Chenier T, et al. Health values of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Arch Intern Med 2004 Nov 22;164(21):2377-82. 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 April 2005


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