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May 24, 2002, Issue No. 58

AHRQ News and Numbers

In 1999, 1,239 U.S. patients were hospitalized for corneal transplants, with an average length of stay of 3.1 days and an average charge of $12,880. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. USPSTF issues recommendation on screening adults for depression
  2. New national survey data detail quality of health care for children
  3. John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety awards have been established by NQF and JCAHO
  4. Public comment on EPC report on systems to rate the strength of scientific evidence
  5. Web conference on pediatric patient safety
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  USPSTF Issues Recommendation on Screening Adults for Depression

The AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening adults for depression in clinical practices that have systems in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and followup. The USPSTF concludes the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routine screening of children and adolescents for depression. This Task Force recommendation was published in the May 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The USPSTF is an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care that reviews various clinical preventive services and makes recommendations on how the services can be improved. Select to access the AHRQ press release and the recommendation and other supporting materials.

2.  New National Survey Data Detail Quality of Health Care for Children

New data from AHRQ indicate that while the majority of parents report that their experiences with health care for their children are good, there are significant variations by age, race/ethnicity, and type of insurance coverage. Parents of a nationally representative sample of 6,500 children under age 18 were asked about the timeliness in which their children received needed and routine medical care and their experiences during their children's care. The data collected in 2000 and early 2001 are taken from a new questionnaire added into AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Select to access the AHRQ press release.

3.  John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards Have Been Established by NQF and JCAHO

The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) announced on May 13 the establishment of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards. The awards—named in memory of the respected leader of AHRQ who died in March—will recognize individuals and health care organizations that have made significant contributions to improving patient safety. Up to four awards will be presented each year, one to recognize individual lifetime achievements in patient safety and three in the categories of advocacy, system innovation, and research. Nomination forms for the awards are available from JCAHO's Customer Service Center by calling (630) 792-5800. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the 2002 awards is July 15. The 2002 awards will be presented at the NQF annual meeting to be held October 1-2 in Washington.

4.  Public Comment on EPC Report on Systems to Rate the Strength of Scientific Evidence

AHRQ invites comments on the Evidence-based Practice Center report Systems to Rate the Strength of Scientific Evidence. We are interested in the report's overall clarity, usefulness, and thoroughness, and we welcome suggestions on the type of guidance that would be most helpful to researchers, policymakers, provider systems, professional societies, practitioners, patients, and others. Select to access the notice in the May 24, 2002, issue of Federal Register.

5.  Web Conference on Pediatric Patient Safety

Mark your calendars. AHRQ will be sponsoring a Web conference with two experts on pediatric patient safety issues on July 17 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The presenters will be Drs. Rainu Kaushal from Harvard Medical School and Marlene Miller from AHRQ. Stay at your desk and participate in this live event on the Web. For further information, contact Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

6.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Flaherty EG, Sege R. Mattson CL, et al. Assessment of suspicion of abuse in the primary care setting. Ambul Pediatr 2002 Mar-Apr; 2(2):120-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sherman KJ, Hogeboom CJ, Cherkin DC, et al. Description and validation of a noninvasive placebo acupuncture procedure. J Altern Complement Med 2002 Feb; 8(1):11-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Lober WB, Karras BT, Wagner MM, et al. Roundtable on bioterrorism detection: information system-based surveillance. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2002 Mar-Apr; 9(2):105-15. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Beaulieu ND, Epstein AM. National Committee on Quality Assurance health-plan accreditation. Predictors, correlates of performance, and market impact. Med Care 2002 Apr; 40(4):325-37. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stryer D, Clancy C, Simpson L. Minority health disparities: AHRQ efforts to address inequities in care. Health Promotion Practice 2002 Apr; 3(2):125-9. A copy of the reprint is available by sending an E-mail to

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 May 2002


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