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Task Force Finds Insufficient Evidence for Screening for Newborn Jaundice to Prevent a More Serious Chronic Condition

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 283

The number of hospital stays for patients who received blood transfusions increased by 140 percent (from 1.1 million to nearly 2.7 million) between 1997 and 2007, representing the largest increase in procedures not involving pregnancy or childbirth over the 11-year period.

The number of hospital stays for patients who received blood transfusions increased by 140 percent (from 1.1 million to nearly 2.7 million) between 1997 and 2007, representing the largest increase in procedures not involving pregnancy or childbirth over the 11-year period. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP, HCUP Facts and Figures, 2007.]

Today's Headlines

  1. Task Force finds insufficient evidence for screening for newborn jaundice to prevent a more serious chronic condition
  2. New AHRQ planning guide for mass medical care when demand is greater than resources
  3. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange topics for October—developmental disabilities, hospital-acquired infections, and dental/oral health
  4. New resource reports consumers' perceptions of electronic health information systems
  5. New AHRQ evidence report on ductal carcinoma in situ is available
  6. Register now for HCUP workshop at APHA's Annual Meeting—advance online registration ends on October 2!
  7. Save the date: meeting for users of AHRQ CAHPS and Patient Safety Culture Surveys on April 19-21, 2010
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Task Force Finds Insufficient Evidence for Screening for Newborn Jaundice to Prevent a More Serious Chronic Condition

According to a new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, there is insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening infants for hyperbilirubinemia to prevent chronic bilirubin encephalopathy. Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition marked by a high level of bilirubin in the blood, which is often apparent as yellow-colored skin and eyes (jaundice).This recommendation and the accompanying summary of evidence will appear in the October issue of Pediatrics. The recommendation is published in the October issue of Pediatrics and is available on the AHRQ Web site.

2.  New AHRQ Planning Guide for Mass Medical Care When Demand Is Greater than Resources

AHRQ released a condensed version of a 2007 mass medical care planning guide that contains updated resources and new information specific to H1N1. Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: The Essentials is a resource for community planners to prepare for public health emergencies, such as pandemic flu, when demand for medical resources outweighs supply. The 70-page guide sets out a framework of basic steps that planners may take to prepare for a mass casualty event. It addresses key questions that each community should ask to properly plan for a well coordinated operational response. The guide addresses ethical and legal issues and provides tips on preparing for the provision of services to address pre-hospital, acute hospital care, alternative care sites, and palliative care during disaster conditions. To illustrate how to apply these basic principles, the guide also includes a special section on influenza pandemic preparedness. This new resource is an abbreviated version of AHRQ's Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: a Community Planning Guide. Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: The Essentials was prepared by Sally J. Phillips, R.N., Ph.D., and Kelly J. Johnson, M.P.H., of AHRQ and Ann Knebel, R.N., D.N.Sc., of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. A print copy is available by sending an e-mail to

3.  AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Topics for October—Developmental Disabilities, Hospital-Acquired Infections, and Dental/Oral Health

During the month of October the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site will feature innovative health service delivery profiles and tools in a variety of areas. The month kicks off with featured profiles in the area of developmental and other disabilities, including deafness, autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and other conditions. Beginning October 14 through the 27, the profile focus will shift to the topic of hospital-acquired infections. Rounding out the month and into November the focus will be on profiles that promote health service improvement in the area of dental/oral health. The Innovations Exchange contains more than 300 searchable innovations and 1,400 searchable QualityTools. Don't forget to visit the Spotlight for expert commentary, human interest stories, and other opportunities to connect with this program. You can access past issues of "What's New" on topics such as mental health, women's health, management of asthma, obese and overweight youth, and culturally competent care.

4.  Reports Consumers' Perceptions of Electronic Health Information Systems

AHRQ's National Resource Center for Health Information Technology has released a new resource on consumers' opinions of electronic health information systems. The report, titled Consumer Engagement in Developing Electronic Health Information Systems, provides an in-depth understanding of consumers' health care awareness, beliefs, perceptions, and fears concerning health IT. Results of the focus groups suggest that participants were optimistic that health IT would benefit health care quality. Privacy and security were the main concern of a large majority of participants. Participants also thought that computers may add efficiency to health care and reduce medical errors, such as those associated with illegible handwriting. However, some participants were concerned that health IT might make providers more impersonal, devoting more attention to the computer screen and less to the patient. Select to view the new resource. (PDF File), (Plugin Software Help)

5.  New AHRQ Evidence Report on Ductal Carcinoma in Situ Is Available

AHRQ has released a new evidence report that found the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ—the most common type of breast cancer—has continued to increase in the post-mammography era. Researchers led by Beth A. Virnig, Ph.D., M.P.H., identified the need to better understand whether it is possible to modify current imaging technologies or screening guidelines to more effectively identify lesions that are unlikely to become clinically problematic, as well as tumors that are likely to contain some invasive component. While evidence supports treating ductal carcinoma in situ, ongoing trials are exploring the best clinical strategy for treating ductal carcinoma in situ. The report, Diagnosis and Management of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, was conducted by AHRQ's Minnesota University Evidence-based Practice Center and was requested and funded by the NIH's Office of Medical Applications of Research, for a State-of-the-Science Conference on the topic on September 22-24, 2009. Select to access the report.

6.  Register Now for HCUP Workshop at APHA's Annual Meeting—Advance Online Registration Ends on October 2!

Registration is now open for AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) workshop at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Learning Institute, in Philadelphia, PA. On November 7, the three and half-hour workshop will introduce health services and policy researchers to the HCUP databases and related resources that will enable them to apply HCUP data to their research interests. Select for more information about the workshop. Space is limited and a separate $50 course registration fee is required for this session. Participants can receive CME, CNE, or CHES continuing education credits for attending. For more information, please visit the APHA Continuing Education Web site. Select to register Advanced online registration closes October 2; on-site fees will be in effect following this date.

7.  Save the Date: Meeting for Users of AHRQ CAHPS and Patient Safety Culture Surveys on April 19-21, 2010

AHRQ will hold a joint meeting for users of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) family of surveys and of the AHRQ patient safety culture surveys (SOPS) for hospitals, nursing homes, and medical offices on April 19-21, 2010 in Baltimore. Attendees will hear about recent developments in CAHPS and SOPS and how current users are administering these surveys of patient experience and patient safety culture. The agenda will include sessions on using CAHPS and SOPS results to improve the quality of care, as well as sessions on reporting CAHPS survey results to consumers Registration is free and will open in November.

8.  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.

Sprague B, Trentham-Dietz A, Klein B, et al. Physical activity, white blood cell count, and lung cancer risk in a prospective cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008 Oct; 17(10):2714-22. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Nelson MM, Smith MA, Martinson BC, et al. Declining patient functioning and caregiver burden/health: the Minnesota Stroke Survey—Quality of Life After Stroke Study. Gerontologist 2008 Oct; 48(5):573-83. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Jerant A, DiMatteo R, Arnsten J, et al Self-report adherence measures in chronic illness: retest reliability and predictive validity. Med Care 2008 Nov; 46(11):1134-9. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Nakamura MM, Lee GM. Influenza vaccination in adolescents with high-risk conditions. Pediatrics 2008 Nov; 122(5):920-8. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Holtrop JS, Dosh SA, Torres T, et al. The community health educator referral liaison (CHERL): a primary care practice role for promoting healthy behaviors. Am J Prev Med 2008 Nov; 35(5 Suppl):S365-72. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Daniels TL, Deppen S, Arbogast PG, et al. Mortality rates associated with multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection in surgical intensive care units. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008 Nov; 29(11):1080-3. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Schubert CC, Boustani M, Callahan CM, et al. Acute care utilization by dementia caregivers within urban primary care practices. J Gen Intern Med 2008 Nov; 23(11):1736-40. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed October 2009
Internet Citation: Task Force Finds Insufficient Evidence for Screening for Newborn Jaundice to Prevent a More Serious Chronic Condition: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 283. October 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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