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July 12, 2002, Issue No. 64

AHRQ News and Numbers

Data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) show that among Americans earning between $10 and $14.99 per hour, the likelihood of being uninsured increased from 10.6 percent in 1996 to 12.9 percent in 2000. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Chartbook #9, The Uninsured in America: 1996-2000.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. Web conference on pediatric patient safety on July 17
  2. AHRQ puts latest hospital care data on the Web
  3. AHRQ invites comments on priority areas in agency's strategic plan
  4. New Quick Tips Cards added to AHRQ health care quality packet
  5. Patient safety database RFP released
  6. John M. Eisenberg, M.D., posthumously awarded Baxter International Foundation Health Services Research Prize
  7. MEPS data users' workshops
  8. Workshop on Geographic methods and measurement for health services research on vulnerable populations
  9. New research databases available for purchase
  10. Do you know how AHRQ's research is being used?
  11. Summary of evidence report on management of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis available
  12. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Web Conference on Pediatric Patient Safety on July 17

AHRQ is sponsoring a free Child Health Speaker Series Web conference with two nationally recognized pediatric patient safety researchers. They will discuss methods for reducing errors in pediatric medicine and implications for research and practice on July 17 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The presenters will be Dr. Rainu Kaushal from Harvard Medical School, who will discuss targeted strategies to prevent medical errors and related injuries, and Dr. Marlene Miller from AHRQ, who will discuss lessons from AHRQ's pediatric patient safety research. You can stay at your desk and participate in this live event by submitting questions or comments via the Web. For further information, contact Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

2.  AHRQ Puts Latest Hospital Care Data on the Web

AHRQ has added data for 2000 to HCUPnet, part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) online service. This free service on AHRQ's Web site enables users to identify, track, analyze and compare statistics on the inpatient care of Americans in the nation as a whole, regions of the country, and in specific states. Select to access the press release and the HCUPnet database.

3.  AHRQ Invites Comments on Priority Areas in Agency's Strategic Plan

AHRQ invites recommendations for future initiatives in areas identified as priorities in the Agency's current strategic plan. This plan describes the framework that the Agency will use to guide the development and implementation of budget proposals for fiscal years 2004 and 2005, as well as decisions on resource allocations for research, translation (including tool development), dissemination, and evaluation activities that will facilitate the implementation of research findings at all levels of the health care system. Select to access the strategic plan and the request for comments in the July 9 issue of the Federal Register.

4.  New Quick Tips Cards Added to AHRQ Health Care Quality Packet

AHRQ has created a new set of easy-reference cards called "Quick Tips" that are part of a larger collection of material on how to improve health care quality and avoid medical errors. The "Quick Tips" provide information to help patients prepare for various medical tests, plan for surgery, talk with their doctors, and use prescription medicines safely. Other materials in the packet include 20 Tips To Help Prevent Medical Errors, 5 Steps to Safer Health Care, Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care, and Now You Have a Diagnosis: What's Next? Select to access these materials or send an E-mail to

5.  Patient Safety Database RFP Released

AHRQ and HHS issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on a Total Small Business Set-Aside basis. This contract is part of the HHS Patient Safety Task Force's mission to integrate existing data collection on medical errors and adverse events, coordinate research and analysis efforts, and collaborate on reducing the occurrence of injuries that result from medical errors. This contract for Phase I entails:

  1. Development of a Web-based reporting interface for hospital and institutional-based reporting of events to the CDC and FDA that includes the FDA's Adverse Events Reporting System (AERS), Biological Product Deviation (BPD), the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and Manufacturer User Device Experience (MAUDE/MedSun) and the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network.
  2. Development of a coding structure for reporting.
  3. Development of a prototype data warehouse and query system of event reports.
  4. Development of training materials and user-based software for local institutional use.
  5. Prototype testing of the reporting system.
  6. Development of an integration plan for Phases II and III.

Proposals are due on August 9. Select to access more information on this RFP.

6.  John M. Eisenberg, M.D., Posthumously Awarded Baxter International Foundation Health Services Research Prize

Dr. John Eisenberg was awarded posthumously the prestigious 2002 Baxter International Foundation Health Services Research Prize in recognition of his outstanding efforts to advance global health services research. The award was made by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration at their annual meeting on June 22 in Washington. The Health Services Research Prize is recognized internationally as the highest distinction that researchers in the health-services field can receive.

7.  MEPS Data Users' Workshops

AHRQ is conducting two workshops to facilitate the use of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) by the health services research community. The workshops, designed for those with an interest in using national health surveys, will be held at the AHRQ Conference Center, Rockville, MD, August 19 and August 20-21. At both workshops, participants will have the opportunity to discuss specific research and policy questions of interest. Select to access program descriptions, registration forms, and logistical information.

8.  Workshop on Geographic Methods and Measurement for Health Services Research on Vulnerable Populations

AHRQ is sponsoring a 1-day workshop in September that will provide an overview of:

  1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods as applied to health services research.
  2. Geographic measurement issues in health services research, including measures of urbanicity and rurality as well as geographically-based shortage designation areas.
  3. Multilevel models and studies of neighborhood effects.

The workshop is designed for active researchers with a working understanding of regression analysis who are interested in an introduction to GIS, geographic measurement, and multilevel models. To obtain registration information for the September 13 conference in Rockville, MD, please contact Karen Brooks at (301) 231-7537, Ext. 260 or

9.  New Research Databases Available for Purchase

Year 2000 State Inpatient Databases (SID), State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD), and Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) are now available for purchase. These powerful databases, which come in uniform format to aid researchers, cover all patients, regardless of payer. They include data on the uninsured and charge information. The SID 2000 data are available for 16 States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The SASD 2000 data are currently available for Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin. The 2000 SID comprise discharge abstract data from all community hospitals in those 16 States. The 2000 SASD capture information on surgeries performed at hospital-affiliated ambulatory surgery sites in the five States. The 2000 NIS includes discharge information on roughly 7 million hospital stays from about 1,000 community hospitals in 28 States. The NIS approximates a 20 percent sample of community hospitals. Select to access information on purchasing these data and earlier year data.

10.  Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

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 describe AHRQ research findings in action. These case studies have been used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. 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.

11.  Summary of Evidence Report on Management of Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis Available

We issued the summary of a new evidence report, Management of Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis. It came from AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at the New England Medical Center, working with the American Academy of Family Physicians; the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The report looked at several aspects of the condition, including efficacy of treatments and the likelihood of developing asthma. It also identified several areas for future research. Select to access the summary. A print copy of the summary is available by sending an E-mail to

12.  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.

Reuben DB. Organizational interventions to improve health outcomes of older persons. Med Care 2002 May; 40(5):416-28. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stivers T. Participating in decisions about treatment: overt parent pressure for antibiotic medication in pediatric encounters. Soc Sci Med 2002 Apr; 54(7):1111-30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Denkers MR, Biagi HL, O'Brien MA, et al. Dorsal root entry zone lesioning used to treat central neuropathic pain in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury. A systematic review. Spine 2002 Apr 1; 27(7):E177-84. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

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 July 2002


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


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