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March 28, 2003, Issue No. 94

AHRQ News and Numbers

Among those who had an asthma episode or attack in 2000, females were more likely (55.1 percent) than males (41.8 percent) to use inhaled steroids. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #13, Asthma Treatment: Use of Medications and Devices, 2000. (PDF File, 420 KB; PDF Help)]

Today's Headlines:

  1. New evidence report summary available on management of jaundice in newborns
  2. Second issue of AHRQ WebM&M is online now
  3. National Women's Check-Up Day on May 12
  4. International Child Health Services Research meeting set for September 20
  5. Last chance for AHRQ workshop on HIPAA privacy rule
  6. Translating Research Into Practice conference set for July
  7. American Academy of Family Physicians senior scholar in residence joins AHRQ
  8. AHRQ mental health compendium
  9. What's new at the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™
  10. Guidelines added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  11. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  New Evidence Report Summary Available on Management of Jaundice in Newborns

We released the summary and full report of a new evidence report, Management of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia, which presents a comprehensive literature review of the effect of bilirubin on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Researchers concluded that use of several new and currently used non-invasive devices could serve as reliable screening tools for earlier detection of potentially serious cases of jaundice and may decrease the need for invasive blood tests in those infants found to be at lower risk. They also found that use and validation of standardized data charts to plot results from bilirubin measurements based on hours since birth could help predict potentially serious cases of jaundice. In addition, researchers suggest the need for future research to validate newer non-invasive measurement devices and to address issues of cost-effectiveness and reproducibility in clinical practice. Future research in kernicterus would benefit from a uniform definition of the disease, they noted. The report was prepared by AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center at Tufts-New England Medical Center. Select to access the press release and the summary. A print copy of the summary and the full report are available by sending an E-mail to

2.  Second Issue of AHRQ WebM&M Is Online Now

AHRQ WebM&M is a peer-reviewed, Web-based journal showcasing patient safety lessons drawn from real cases of medical errors. This month, AHRQ WebM&M features cases on a delirious patient with blood clotting problems who falls out of bed twice; a laparoscopic colostomy done in reverse, producing complete bowel obstruction; a medication overdose due to ambiguous abbreviations; a pregnancy whose incorrect dating nearly led to induction of pre-term labor; and an antipsychotic, rather than antihistamine, mistakenly dispensed to a woman with hives. The first issue's cases and commentaries are available under "Archives." To date, about 3,000 users have registered, and each day the site has about 1,000 visitors. Select to access the WebM&M site.

3.  National Women's Check-Up Day on May 12

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is coordinating the first ever National Women's Check-Up Day on May 12 as part of National Women's Health Week. AHRQ and other agencies throughout the Department are promoting the event. Community health centers, hospitals, and other health providers across America will encourage women to come in for preventive health services. Select for more information.

4.  International Child Health Services Research Meeting Set for September 20

AHRQ is sponsoring a meeting called "International Child Health Services Research: Advancing Knowledge, Informing Action, Improving Child Health Care," on Saturday, September 20, in Washington, DC. This first ever, 1-day affiliate meeting of the 5th International Conference on the Scientific Basis of Health Services will focus on how child health services research seeks to advance children's health care and health through the establishment of a strategic focus for international child health services research activities. By bringing together leaders from diverse countries, it will address the current under-emphasis on children in the international dialogue on health care quality and health services improvement. Featured participants include Drs. Charles Homer, Robin Osborne, Lisa Simpson, and Barbara Starfield from the United States; Robert Holl of the Netherlands; Catherine Peckham of the United Kingdom, and Frank Oberklaid of Australia.

5.  Last Chance for AHRQ Workshop on HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule will go into effect on April 14. AHRQ and AcademyHealth are offering a workshop, "Playing by New Rules: Privacy and Health Services Research" on April 29 in Washington, DC. The workshop is intended to educate members of the health services research community about its responsibilities and obligations under the HIPAA privacy rule. Participants will learn practical approaches to implementing the privacy rule, such as effectively working with institutional review boards and privacy boards. The workshop will address critical questions that health services researchers will face related to data privacy, including: Which data meet the legal requirements for personally identifiable health information? What entities are covered by the regulation, and how are their identifiable data acquired? What are the consequences for failing to protect this information? How can researchers use data while protecting its confidentiality? What advantages does the limited data set (LDS) offer researchers? Select for registration and additional information.

6.  Translating Research Into Practice Conference Set for July

Mark your calendars! AHRQ is sponsoring a conference called "Translating Research Into Practice: What's Working? What's Missing? What's Next?" for policymakers, researchers, and representatives from health care delivery systems. The conference will be held July 22-24 in Washington, DC. The first in a new annual series, this conference will examine successes and challenges in implementing research findings faced by patients, communities, physicians, practices, health care organizations, national and local governments, payers, educators, and the media. Confirmed speakers include AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy and The Honorable Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.

7.  American Academy of Family Physicians Senior Scholar in Residence Joins AHRQ

AHRQ is pleased to welcome Henry Barry, M.D., M.S., as the 2003 American Academy of Family Physicians senior scholar in residence. Dr. Barry, who began his 6-month program at AHRQ this month, is working in the Agency's Center for Primary Care Research, studying the effects of information technology systems on patient outcomes. Dr. Barry is the senior associate chair and associate professor of family practice at the College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing. He is also the co-director of the Great Lakes Research Into Practice Network, which is affiliated with the Michigan Consortium for Family Practice Research (one of the three centers funded under the AAFP Plan to Enhance Family Practice Research).

8.  AHRQ Mental Health Compendium

AHRQ has released its first Compendium of Research Related to Mental Health. The compendium is an overview of the Agency's broad portfolio of mental health research and related activities. Topic areas range from Alzheimer's disease to anxiety disorders to trauma and violence. Select to view and download the compendium. A print copy is available by sending and E-mail to

9.  What's New at the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™

Select to see what new features and measures have been added to AHRQ's National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC)—a Web-based public resource of the most current evidence-based quality measures and measure sets available to evaluate and improve the quality of health care. You can receive updates to the site via E-mail by subscribing to the NQMC Weekly Update Service. For information on submitting quality measures, or for general questions, please send an E-mail to

10.  Guidelines Added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

Select to see what's new at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC)—a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Select to subscribe to the NGC Weekly Update Service, which notifies you via E-mail when new features and guidelines become available at the NGC Web site. AHRQ also has available a supply of NGC tutorials on CD-ROM. The tutorial walks you through a series of informative demonstrations and scenarios on using the NGC. The CD-ROM is available free of charge by calling the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

11.  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.

Craig BM, Tseng DS. Cost-effectiveness of gastric bypass for severe obesity. Am J Med 2002 Oct 15;113(6):491-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Birkmeyer JD. Raising the bar for pancreaticoduodenectomy. Ann Surg Oncol 2002 Nov;9(9):826-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Borkon AM, Muehlebach GF, House J, et al. A comparison of the recovery of health status after percutaneous intervention and coronary artery bypass. Ann Thorac Surg 2002 Nov;74(5):1526-30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Butler J, Arbogast PG, BeLue R, et al. Outpatient adherence to beta-blocker therapy after acute myocardial infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol 2002 Nov 6;40(9):1589-95. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Manski RJ, Moeller JF, Hupp JR. An analysis of oral surgical dental visits by provider type, 1996. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radio Endod 20002 Dec;94(6):687-91. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of March 2003


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