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February 1, 2002, Issue #42

AHRQ News and Numbers

About 81 percent of U.S. women used some form of ambulatory health service in 1996. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care, MEPS Research Findings #17.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. Trend in hysterectomies performed in the United States has remained flat from 1990 to 1997
  2. Evidence-based Practice Centers II RFP released
  3. Evidence report on endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
  4. Colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice program announcement
  5. AHRQ director receives prestigious health services research award
  6. AHRQ'S Quality Indicators LISTSERV®
  7. Do you know of any impact case studies?
  8. New applicants sought for child and adolescent health scholar
  9. Two new medical errors consumer tip sheets
  10. New AHRQ publications
  11. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Trend in Hysterectomies Performed in the United States Has Remained Flat from 1990 to 1997

A new AHRQ-funded study shows that the rate of hysterectomy for various noncancerous uterine conditions was virtually unchanged from 1990 through 1997 despite some new therapeutic techniques. During the same period, an increasing number of these procedures were performed laparoscopically rather than abdominally. Cynthia M. Farquhar, M.D., of the University of Auckland's National Women's Hospital, and Claudia A. Steiner, M.D., M.P.H., of AHRQ, studied data from AHRQ's Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The article, "Hysterectomy Rates in the United States: 1990-1997," was published in the February issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Select for the AHRQ press release.

2.  Evidence-based Practice Centers II RFP Released

AHRQ issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals from organizations to serve as Evidence-based Practice Centers under 5-year contracts. This RFP is the second phase of AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice program. Select to access the AHRQ press release and the solicitation. Proposals are due by March 1.

3.  Evidence Report on Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

The summary of a new evidence report, produced by AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center in Chicago, had been issued. This evidence report was used by the National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference on Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography held on January 14-16. Researchers compared studies for diagnosis and therapy in four clinical areas:

  1. Common bile duct stones.
  2. Pancreaticobiliary malignancy.
  3. Pancreatitis.
  4. Abdominal pain of possible pancreaticobiliary origin.

Select to access the summary online. Free print copies of the summary are available by sending an E-mail to

4.  Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care Practice Program Announcement

The NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI) and AHRQ have recently released a new program announcement entitled "Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care Practice" that specifically targets primary care research teams. Such teams include primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) and integrated delivery system research networks (IDSRNs). This initiative, to be jointly sponsored by NCI and AHRQ, will provide funding for exploratory/development projects designed to improve the delivery and use of colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice and evaluate the short-term outcomes of such screening. The first application receipt date is June 20. Applications will also be accepted on October 23, February 20, 2003, and June 20, 2003. Select to access the RFA and for other AHRQ funding opportunities.

5.  AHRQ Director Receives Prestigious Health Services Research Award

The Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy honored AHRQ Director John Eisenberg, M.D., with its Academy Chair Award on January 16. The award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of health services research and/or health policy. Dr. Eisenberg emphasized the importance of bridging health services research and informed health care policy. He noted that, "This bridge assures that policymakers have access to the best information, and derived from that information, the best knowledge to inform their policymaking."

6.  AHRQ'S Quality Indicators LISTSERV®

AHRQ now has a LISTSERV® that allows you to receive a series of Web-based, user-friendly indicators for improving the quality of inpatient and ambulatory health care. Select for more information on how to sign up for the LISTSERV®.

7.  Do You Know of Any Impact Case Studies?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed peoples' lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. Impact case studies have been used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches by AHRQ Director John Eisenberg. We would like to know if you are aware of any impact your research has had on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

8.  New Applicants Sought for Child and Adolescent Health Scholar

AHRQ is seeking new applicants for a child and adolescent health scholar-in-residence. Select for more information on how to apply.

9.  Two New Medical Errors Consumer Tip Sheets

AHRQ released two new consumer tip sheets meant to help patients in preventing medical errors. How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Medical Errors! and the Spanish-language, Como proteger a usted y a su familia de los errores médicos are the very easy-to-understand versions of AHRQ's publication Five Steps to Safer Health Care. These two new consumer tip sheets take patients through various ways they can prevent medical errors in a simple format and are intended to meet the needs of patients who read below a fifth-grade reading level. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

10.  New AHRQ Publications

  1. Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Can Improve Health Status.
  2. Patient Reminders or Telephone Counseling Can Improve Followup After an Abnormal Pap Smear.
  3. Achievable Benchmarks of Care (ABCs) Feedback Can Be An Effective Quality Improvement Tool for Office-Based Physicians.
  4. Choosing Long-term Care.
  5. Women's Health Highlights Update.

Print copies of these publications are available by sending an E-mail to

11.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Newman TB, Bernsweig JA, Takayama JI, et al. Urine testing and urinary tract infections in febrile infants seen in office settings. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2002 Jan; 156(1):44-54.

Mofidi M, Rozier RG, King RS. Problems with access to dental care for Medicaid-insured children: What caregivers think. Am J Public Health 2002 Jan; 92(1):53-58.

Henriksen K, Battles JB. Research on medical errors gaining momentum. Hum Factors Ergonomics Soc Bull 2001 Dec; 44(12):1, 4-5.

Keller RB, Griffin E, Schneiter EJ, et al. Searching for quality in medical care: The Maine Medical Assessment Foundation. J Ambulatory Care Manage 2002 Jan; 25(1):63-79.

Steinman MA, Sands LP, Covinsky KE. Self-restriction of medications due to cost in seniors without prescription coverage. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Dec; 16(12):793-99.

Mikulich VJ, Liu YA, Steinfeldt J, et al. Implementation of clinical guidelines through an electronic medical record: Physician usage, satisfaction and assessment. Int J Med Inf 2001 Oct; 63(3):169-78.

Manski RJ, Edelstein BL, Moeller JF. The impact of insurance coverage on children's dental visits and expenditures, 1996. J Am Dent Assoc 2001 Aug; 132(8):1137-45.

Macek MD, Edelstein BL, Manski RJ. An analysis of dental visits in U.S. children by category of service and sociodemographic factors, 1996. Pediatr Dent 2001 Sept-Oct; 23(5):383-89.

Contact Information

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Current as of February 2002


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