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April 6, 2000, Issue No. 5

AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ study finds quarter of cesarean sections may be performed too early in labor
  2. New Patient Fact Sheet on Medical Errors
  3. Funding Opportunities Fact Sheet
  4. There are Numerous Job Openings at AHRQ
  5. Do You Know the Top Five Most Expensive Hospital Diagnoses?
  6. Are You Familiar With CONQUEST 2.0?
  7. We Have Released Eight Evidence Reports
  8. AHRQ in the News
  9. Association for Health Services Research Conference
  10. Second Annual Meeting of Child Health Services Researchers
  11. AHRQ Factoid

1.  AHRQ Study Finds Quarter of Cesarean Sections May Be Performed Too Early in Labor

Nearly one-quarter of women undergoing cesarean section may have had the procedure too early in their labor, according to a new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) study. The study, conducted by researchers at RAND, Brown University, and the University of California and funded by AHRQ, is in the April 1, 2000, Obstetrics and Gynecology.

2.  New Patient Fact Sheet on Medical Errors

AHRQ has developed a new fact sheet with practical tips to help people protect themselves from errors in their health care. 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors has specific, research-based recommendations on preventing medical errors related to medicines, hospital stays and surgery. Other general recommendations to help prevent medical errors also are included. Select to access the fact sheet.

3.  Funding Opportunities Fact Sheet

Select to access AHRQ's Funding Opportunities fact sheet. It describes our research agenda and the financial assistance mechanisms used for our research projects. The focus is primarily on opportunities for investigator-initiated research grants, but brief information also is included on contracts.

4.  There are Numerous Job Openings at AHRQ

Select to access online Job Vacancy announcements.

5.  Do You Know the Top Five Most Expensive Hospital Diagnoses?

Last year, AHRQ issued a chart listing the top five most expensive hospital diagnoses based on HCUP data. The report shows that in 1996, costs associated with a diagnosis of spinal cord injury were $56,800, and costs associated with a diagnosis of infant respiratory distress syndrome were $56,600. Low birthweight was the third most costly diagnosis, followed by leukemia and heart valve disorders.

6.  Are You Familiar With CONQUEST 2.0?

In 1999, AHRQ released an expanded, more user-friendly version of its quality improvement database CONQUEST (the Computerized Needs-Oriented Quality Measurement Evaluation System). This version includes more clinical performance measures and medical conditions than the previous version, as well as new information on how to select and apply the measures.

7.  AHRQ Has Released Eight Evidence Reports

AHRQ has issued evidence reports on topics such as treatment of depression, diagnosis and treatment of acute sinusitis, cervical cytology, alcohol dependence, androgen suppression in the treatment of advanced prostatic cancer, sleep apnea and others. Select to access the executive summaries.

8.  AHRQ in the News

Cannon DS and Allen SN. A comparison of the effects of computer and manual reminders on compliance with a mental health clinical practice guideline. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2000 March/April;7(2):196-203. (Cites 1995 article on implementation of AHRQ's depression guidelines.)

Christakis DA, Davis R. and Rivara FP. Pediatric evidence-based medicine: past, present and future. J Pediatr 2000 March;136(3):383-389. (Describes related efforts by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and AHRQ (Evidence-based Practice Centers) and National Guideline Clearinghouse™; cites article by Atkins D and DiGuiseppi CG in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1998.)

Gandhi TK, Seger DL, and Bates DW. Identifying drug safety issues: from research to practice. Int J Qual Health Care 2000 February;12(1):69-76. (Cites AHRQ-funded articles on adverse drug events.)

9.  Association for Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference

The AHSR annual meeting, Research to Action: Shaping the Health System in the New Millennium, will be held June 25-27 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

10.  Second Annual Meeting of Child Health Services Researchers

AHRQ is the lead sponsor of the Second Annual Child Health Services Researchers Meeting to be held in conjunction with AHSR's annual meeting this June. With the theme of The Role of Partnerships, the meeting will be held 12:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, 2000, just after the official AHSR meeting ends. Cosponsors are the American Academy of Nursing, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions.

11.  AHRQ Factoid

Costs associated with dangerous reactions to medications for a 700-bed teaching hospital total about $5.6 million per year or about $8,000 per bed per year. (Source: Bates et al., 1997)

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 2000


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