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April 7, 2008, Issue No. 254

AHRQ News and Numbers

The data come from surveys conducted between 1999 and 2004 indicate that about 31 percent of low-income children ages 2 to 5 have dental cavities that don't get treated by a dentist. A much smaller portion of high-income children—about 6 percent—have untreated cavities. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports.]

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ data report shows upward trend for hospital patient safety culture, highlights areas to focus improvement
  2. AHRQ issues new report about transforming hospitals into high reliability organizations
  3. PSO comment period open until April 14
  4. AHRQ wants your feedback!
  5. AHRQ audio conference on developing a Patient Safety Advisory Council set for April 8
  6. Translating science into community-based practice workshop set for May 9
  7. MEPS data users' workshop set for May 14-15
  8. Medscape's MedGenMed Web videos to air
  9. Health IT bibliography
  10. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. AHRQ Data Report Shows Upward Trend for Hospital Patient Safety Culture, Highlights Areas to Focus Improvement

AHRQ released a report that shows that one of the most important issues for a hospital to improve its culture of patient safety and focus on how it responds to medical errors made by staff. The new report analyzes data provided by 519 hospitals that administered the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture to more than 160,000 staff nationwide. Hospitals that have administered the hospital survey can use the comparative database report to compare survey data with similar hospitals; identify and target areas for improvement; and track changes over time. Trend data from 98 hospitals, available for the first time, show that overall staff perceptions of their organization's patient safety culture improved by two percent.

The hospital survey and comparative database report are available on the AHRQ Web site. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to

AHRQ plans to release two new patient safety culture surveys later this year specifically for use in the medical office and nursing home settings. Hospitals can submit survey data to the hospital database between May 1 and June 30, 2008. Select for more information on data submission.

2. AHRQ Issues New Report About Transforming Hospitals Into High Reliability Organizations

AHRQ released a new report about incorporating high-reliability organization concepts into health care environments to improve safety and quality of care. Becoming a High Reliability Organization: Operational Advice for Hospital Leaders is a guide for hospital executives, chief medical officers, patient safety officers, and others interested in improving safety, quality, and efficiency. The report captures the lessons learned from an AHRQ-supported learning network comprised of patient safety representatives of 19 health systems and explains how these organizations applied high-reliability organization principles in their settings. Select to access the report.

3. PSO Comment Period Open Until April 14

Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposed regulation for Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) until April 14. Feedback will be used to shape the final rule. Select to read the proposed regulation and to make a public comment. Select to find out more about PSOs.

4. AHRQ Wants Your Feedback!

AHRQ in conjunction with JBS International Inc., needs your help to evaluate the two electronic formats of the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. The Guide helps primary care clinicians identify and offer the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients based on the most current evidence-based recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Your feedback will help AHRQ determine the level of use and usefulness of the Preventive Services Web site and the Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) for PDAs, improve the content and format of these two preventive services tools, and discover how both tools can be enhanced to facilitate clinician-patient communication regarding preventive services.

Select to offer feedback regarding the Preventive Services Web site.Exit disclaimer icon Select to offer feedback regarding the Electronic Preventive Services Selector Exit disclaimer icon (ePSS) for PDAs.

Thank you for taking the time to give AHRQ your feedback! You will receive a free combination pen/stylus for your participation.

5. AHRQ Audio Conference on Developing a Patient Safety Advisory Council Set for April 8

Final registration today! Hospital leaders and others who want to learn how to get patients and families to partner with health care providers on community-based patient safety advisory councils should mark their calendars for a free audio conference on April 8 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., E.D.T. AHRQ grantee Kathy Leonhardt, M.D., M.P.H., of Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, will present the latest evidence in "How to Develop a Community-Based Patient Safety Advisory Council." The audio conference will feature highlights from a how-to guide developed through AHRQ's Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety (PIPS) grants program. The PIPS projects focus on implementing safe practice interventions that can be used by those who wish to adapt and/or adopt interventions to improve patient safety in diverse settings.

Select for conference registration Exit disclaimer icon and select to learn more about the PIPS projects.

6. Translating Science into Community-based Practice Workshop Set for May 9

The NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is sponsoring a workshop May 9, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Natcher Auditorium, Building 45, on the NIH campus in Bethesda. This innovative meeting entitled, Accelerating the Dissemination and Translation of Clinical Research into Practice, is the first in a series of six workshops to discuss and share best practices and where researchers can partner with community health care providers to translate clinical research into practice. Speakers include Barbara Alving, M.D., Director, NCRR; Griffin Rogers, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Robert Kolodner, M.D., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Acting National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; David Lanier, M.D., Associate Director, Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Steven Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., Virginia Commonwealth University Professor, and Thomas Coon, Ph.D., Extension Director, Michigan State University. The workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is requested by April 28. Select to register.

Individuals with disabilities who need sign language interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 at least 5 days prior to the event.

7. MEPS Data User's Workshop Set for May 14-15

AHRQ is conducting a two-day workshop to facilitate the use of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component by the health services research community. The workshop, designed for those with a interest in using national health surveys, will be held on May 14-15 at 450 Gaither Road in Rockville. This workshop combines lecture (first day) and hands-on activities (second day). The focus of the workshop will be health care utilization, expenditures, and medical conditions. Select to register.

8. Medscape's MedGenMed Web Videos to Air

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force member Mike LeFevre, M.D., is featured in Medscape's MedGenMed's Web video editorial, "How Helpful Are Task Force Statements About "Insufficient Evidence"? that posted online March 31. Select to access the editorial. Exit disclaimer icon

Registration is free. MedGenMed will also post two more Web video editorials from the Task Force. Virginia Moyer, M.D., will speak about screening for childhood overweight in an editorial that will air April 25 and Dr. LeFevre will be featured in another editorial on screening for prostate cancer that will air on May 23.

9. Health IT Bibliography

AHRQ released a Health Information Technology (Health IT) Bibliography. This reference piece includes resources on a variety of health IT topics, such as electronic health record systems, health information exchange, and computerized provider order entry. For each topic, there is a mix of both peer-reviewed articles from professional journals and Web-based resources from health care and IT organizations.

10. 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.

Bowman SM, Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA, Sharar SR. The role of hospital profit status in pediatric spleen injury management. Med Care 2008 Mar; 46(3):331-8. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Localio AR, Margolis DA, Berlin JA. Relative risks and confidence intervals were easily computed indirectly from multivariable logistic regression. J Clin Epidemiol 2007 Sep; 60(9):874-82. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Kuppermann M, Learman LA, Schembri M, et al. Effect of noncancerous pelvic problems on health-related quality of life and sexual functioning. Obstet Gynecol 2007 Sep; 110(3):633-42. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Parker CS, Chen Z, Price M, et al. Adherence to warfarin assessed by electronic pill caps, clinician assessment, and patient reports: results from the IN-RANGE study. J Gen Intern Med 2007 Sep; 22(9):1254-9. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Srivastava R, Lindrigan CP, Ross-Degnan D, et al. Impact of a hospitalist system on length of stay and cost for children with common conditions. Pediatrics 2007 Aug; 120(2):267-74. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of April 2008


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