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April 29, 2005, Issue No. 166

AHRQ News and Numbers

While children with special health care needs comprised nearly 20 percent of all children in 2002, these children accounted for 45 percent of the total expenditures for all children's health care. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #75: Access to Needed Medical Care Among Children Under 18 Years of Age With Special Health Care Needs: 2002 (PDF File, 186 KB; PDF Help).

Today's Headlines:

  1. Latest data show that use of antibiotics to treat ear infections is falling
  2. Register for free Web conference on Mass Casualty Care on May 17
  3. Register now for 2005 Annual Patient Safety and Health IT Conference on June 6-10
  4. HCUP seminar set for June 29
  5. Translating Research Into Practice conference set for July 18-20
  6. Two new bioterrorism issue briefs available
  7. New AHRQ publications
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Latest Data Show That Use of Antibiotics to Treat Ear Infections Is Falling

New data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey show that the proportion of children who were given an antibiotic specifically to treat otitis media declined from 14.4 percent in 1996 to 11.5 percent in 2001. The data also showed declines in both the percentage of children reported to have otitis media and the percentage of children whose parents sought treatment for the condition. The data also show that, between 1996 and 2001, the percentage of children in the United States age 14 and under who used an antibiotic for any reason during the year declined from 39 percent to 29 percent. In addition, the average number of antibiotic prescriptions used by all children age 14 and under during this period declined from 0.9 per child to 0.5 per child. Select to read our press release and MEPS Research Findings 23: Trends in Children's Antibiotic Use, 1996 to 2001.

2.  Register for Free Web Conference on Mass Casualty Care on May 17

Sign up now! AHRQ is sponsoring a free Web conference called "Mass Casualty Care: Overlooked Community Resources" on May 17, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 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., Research Triangle Park, NC; Andrea Hassol, M.S.P.H., Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA; and Richard Zane, M.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, will share results from ongoing AHRQ research studies. Debra Berg, M.D., Medical Director, Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will describe a project currently supported by HRSA.

3.  Register Now for 2005 Annual Patient Safety and Health IT Conference on June 6-10

Register now for AHRQ's 2005 annual meeting, Patient Safety and Health Information Technology: Making the Health Care System Safer through Implementation and Innovation, June 6-10, at the Washington DC Convention Center. The conference will highlight new findings, products, tools, best practices, and implementation methods to improve health care safety and quality. These findings, including IT approaches, can bridge the gap between research and practice to improve health care safety and quality. An Innovations Café will feature new products and publications.

4.  HCUP Seminar Set for June 29

AHRQ will hold a 1-day seminar about its Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) on June 29 as part of the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting to be held in Boston, MA. During this seminar, "The Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project: Data and Tools for Health Services & Policy Analyses," participants will learn about HCUP data products, how to obtain the data, how to access the tools and comprehensive, online technical assistance offered through AHRQ. Participants also will learn how to use the data—as well as information about the diversity of analyses that HCUP can support.

5.  Translating Research Into Practice Conference Set for July 18-20

Mark your calendar! The third annual Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) conference will be held on July 18-20 in Washington, DC. This year's conference will highlight two challenging areas for TRIP: obesity and health disparities. In addition, the conference will continue to provide an opportunity to share innovative TRIP research and implementation methods, case studies, and other experiences.

6.  Two New Bioterrorism Issue Briefs Available

AHRQ released two new Issue Briefs summarizing recent Web conferences sponsored by its Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Program. "The Role of Information Technology and Surveillance Systems in Bioterrorism Readiness" (Issue Brief No. 5) describes the use of computer-based, syndromic monitoring systems to track trends within patient populations and to establish early warning of disease outbreaks, including those representing potential bioterrorist activity. The issue brief summarizes the Web conference presentations of Michael W. Shannon, M.D., M.P.H., Children's Hospital, Boston; Michael M. Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; and John W. Loonsk, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies: Linkages with Community Providers" (Issue Brief No. 6) examines the role of community providers—local clinicians, emergency responders, and public health staff—in detecting and responding to a potential emergency in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. The issue brief summarizes the Web conference presentations of AHRQ's Helen Burstin, M.D., M.P.H.; Dan Baden, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Molly Hicks, M.P.A., American Academy of Pediatrics; and Jeralyn Bernier, M.D., M.P.H., Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

7.  New AHRQ Publications

Tools for Hospitals and Health Care Systems Fact Sheet

AHRQ Publications Catalog Spring/Summer 2005

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.

Ness RB, Hagggerty CL, Harger G, et al. Differential distribution of allelic variants in cytokine genes among African Americans and white Americans. Am J Epidemiol 2004 Dec 1;160(11):1033-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Ghetti C, Chan BK, Guise JM. Physicians' responses to patient-requested cesarean delivery. Birth 2004 Dec;31(4):280-4. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Yawn BP, Wollan PC, Jacobsen SJ, et al. Identification of women's coronary heart disease and risk factors prior to first myocardial infarction. J Women Health 2004 Dec;13(10):1087-100. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Johnson RL, Roter D, Powe NR, et al. Patient race/ethnicity and quality of patient-physician communication during medical visits. Am J Public Health 2004 Dec;94(12):2084-90. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Dobrez DG, Lo Sasso AT, Heinemann AW. The effect of prospective payment on rehabilitative care. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004 Dec;85(12):1909-14. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kuo GM, Hawley ST, Weiss LT, et al. Factors associated with herbal use among urban multiethnic primary care patients: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Complement Altern Med 2004 Dec 2;4(1):e18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of April 2005


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