Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Electronic Newsletter

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

April 12, 2001, Issue No. 25

AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. New RFA on patient safety research related to working conditions
  2. National summit on patient safety data collection and use
  3. MEPS chart based on Ambulatory Pediatrics article on distribution of total family health care expenditures for children under 18
  4. AHRQ study on HIV in Journal of Public Health Dentistry
  5. Article in Medical Care on AHRQ's primary care research agenda
  6. Reducing and preventing adverse drug events decreases hospital costs
  7. Evidence report on dental caries
  8. Evidence report on osteoporosis
  9. Evidence report on degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis
  10. New AHRQ publications
  11. Guidelines added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  12. AHRQ in the professional literature
  13. Factoid

1.  New RFA on Patient Safety Research Related to Working Conditions

AHRQ announced on March 27 a new Request for Applications (RFA) to fund studies on how working conditions affect the ability of health care workers to provide safe, high-quality care. AHRQ expects to award up to $7.5 million to support the first-year costs of approximately 20 projects under this RFA. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the RFA.

2.  National Summit on Patient Safety Data Collection and Use

AHRQ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) are sponsoring a national meeting April 23-24, in Reston, VA, to discuss efforts to collect and use data to improve patient safety and opportunities to minimize the burden of data collection. The Data Use Summit will allow health care practitioners who report and use these data, States, health care organizations with reporting systems, professional societies, patient advocacy groups, and others to examine existing Federal data collection systems and suggest how to most effectively use the data collected to reduce patient harm. The registration deadline is April 18. Select to access more information Exit disclaimer icon about the meeting and to register to attend.

3.  MEPS Chart Based on Ambulatory Pediatrics Article on Distribution of Total Family Health Care Expenditures for Children Under 18

AHRQ announced on April 5 the first chart in a series created with Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data on children's health. The charts are derived from tables that are part of an article published in the inaugural issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics entitled "Annual Report on Access to and Utilization of Health Care for Children and Youth in the United States—2000." This first chart shows the source of payment for total health care expenses for children under 18. AHRQ's Deputy Director, Dr. Lisa Simpson, is among the co-authors of the article. Select to access the chart.

4.  AHRQ Study on HIV in Journal of Public Health Dentistry

AHRQ issued a press release on April 6 announcing a study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry by AHRQ grantee Kevin C. Heslin, M.D., with UCLA/RAND. The study found that uninsured persons with HIV disease are three times more likely than privately insured persons to have untreated dental and medical needs. Based on interviews of HIV patients in a national probability sample in 1996, the study estimates that 58,000 of the approximately 231,000 people in treatment for HIV disease that year had either unmet dental or medical needs, or both. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release.

5.  Article in Medical Care on AHRQ's Primary Care Research Agenda

Helen Burstin, M.D., director, and David Lanier, M.D., deputy director of AHRQ's Center for Primary Care Research (CPCR), have published an article in the April issue of Medical Care. The article provides an overview of CPCR's agenda and discusses practice-based research networks as well as intramural research.

6.  Reducing and Preventing Adverse Drug Events Decreases Hospital Costs

AHRQ issued a press announcement announcing the synthesis "Reducing and Preventing Adverse Drug Events to Decrease Hospital Costs." The first synthesis in AHRQ's Research in Action series focuses on the costs of adverse drug events and systems changes that hospitals can make to reduce them and improve quality of care. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the publication.

7.  Evidence Report on Dental Caries

AHRQ released a summary on a new evidence report by the Research Triangle Institute Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) on Diagnosis and Management of Dental Caries. This report played a key role in the conclusions of experts participating in the March 28 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference on the Diagnosis and Management of Dental Caries Throughout Life. Select to access the NIH Press Release. Select to access an extensive bibliography of dental caries research papers prepared by the National Library of Medicine. Select to access AHRQ's evidence summary. Print copies of the summary are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

8.  Evidence Report on Osteoporosis

AHRQ issued on April 9 a press release on the availability of a summary of a new evidence report entitled Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women: Diagnosis and Management. The report describes the effectiveness of various strategies for diagnosing and monitoring postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The report was developed on behalf of AHRQ by the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the summary. Print copies of the summary are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

9.  Evidence Report on Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

AHRQ released on April 10 a summary of a new evidence report entitled Treatment of Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. This meta-analysis by the ECRI Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), Plymouth Meeting, PA, found that some evidence suggests that disk degeneration, narrowing of the spinal canal, and degenerative changes in the spinal ligaments contribute to stenosis and that instability increases with age. However, the strength of this relationship and the age at which stenosis is most likely to occur cannot be determined from the available information. The researchers conclude that to advance patient care in this field, definitive evidence-based statements about the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of spinal stenosis await the results of well-designed clinical trials. Select to access the summary. Print copies of the summary are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

10.  New AHRQ Publications

Three program briefs on women's health are available:

  1. Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Highlights.
  2. Women's Health Highlights provides information about research in heart disease and stroke, urinary incontinence, domestic violence, pregnancy, and other conditions.
  3. Health Care for Minority Women looks at cardiovascular disease, reproductive health, access to health care, and other issues.

11.  Guidelines Added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC)

During the month of March, 12 guidelines were added to the NGC. There are now 967 guideline summaries in the NGC. Select to access these guidelines and others.

  • Imaging work-up for stage I breast carcinoma.
  • Pre-irradiation evaluation and management of brain metastasis.
  • Solitary brain metastasis.
  • Multiple brain metastases.
  • Follow-up and retreatment of brain metastases.
  • Treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS.
  • Bacterial keratitis.
  • Corneal opacification and ectasia.
  • Comprehensive adult medical eye evaluation.
  • Treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.
  • Prevention of falls in people over 65.
  • Asthma.

12.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Bertakis KD, Callahan EJ, Azari R, et al. Predictors of patient referrals by primary care residents to specialty care clinics. Fam Med 2001 Mar; 33(3):203-209.

Gonzales R, Bartlett JG, Besser RE, et al. Principles of appropriate antibiotic use for treatment of acute respiratory tract infections in adults: background, specific aims, and methods. Am Intern Med 2001 Mar 20; 134(6):447-486.

Mandelblatt JS, Berg CD, Meropol NJ, et al. Measuring and predicting surgeons' practice styles for breast cancer treatment in older women. Med Care 2001 Mar; 39(3):228-242.

McNamara RL, Powe NR, Thiemann DR, et al. Specialty of principal care physician and Medicare expenditures in patients with coronary artery disease: impact of comorbidity and severity. Am J Manag Care 2001 Mar; 7(3):261-266.

Yee JD, Shelton D, Girouard S, et al. Market forces and organizational evolution at freestanding children's hospitals in the United States. Amb Pediatrics 2001 Mar-Apr; 1(2):117-121.

13.  Factoid

Seventy-three percent of Americans say they think that the government should require health care providers to report all serious medical errors to make sure that this information is publicly available. [Source: AHRQ/Kaiser Family Foundation National Survey on Americans as Health Care Consumers: An Update on the Role of Quality Information, December 2000.]

Contact Information

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

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or E-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your E-mail address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, E-mail: For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ).

Current as of April 2001


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care