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HHS Releases New Online Patient Safety Training Resources for Clinicians and Patient Advocates

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 315

May 20, 2011

AHRQ News and Numbers

Rural Americans were five times more likely than urban residents to be treated in emergency departments for eye injuries in 2008. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HCUP Statistical Brief #112: Emergency Department Visits Related to Eye Injuries, 2008.]

Today's Headlines

  1. HHS releases new online patient safety training resources for clinicians and patient advocates
  2. New AHRQ technical brief on stereotactic body radiation therapy is available
  3. AHRQ releases tool to help consumers reduce medication errors
  4. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange highlights health promotion in underserved women
  5. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. HHS Releases New Online Patient Safety Training Resources for Clinicians and Patient Advocates

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health released Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections, an interactive learning tool for clinicians, health professional students, and family caregivers. The training videos include information on basic protocols for universal precautions and isolation precautions to protect patient, visitors, and practitioners from the most common disease transmissions. The training promotes six key behaviors: teamwork, communication, hand washing, vaccination against the flu, appropriate use of antibiotics, and proper insertion, use, and removal of catheters and ventilators. Learn how five characters can contribute to—or prevent—risk of several healthcare-associated infections, including surgical site infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. These resources support the new Partnership for Patients, a new national public-private partnership with hospitals, medical groups, consumer groups, and employers that will help save lives by preventing millions of injuries and complications in patient care over the next 3 years. Select to read the HHS press release.

2. New AHRQ Technical Brief on Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Is Available

AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program has released a new technical brief which provides a broad overview of the current state of evidence on the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy for targeting solid malignant tumors. The brief, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, identifies gaps in the scientific data regarding the theoretical advantages of stereotactic body radiation therapy over other radiotherapies in actual clinical use. While stereotactic body radiation therapy appears to be widely used for treatment of a variety of cancer types, none of the currently available studies includes comparison groups. The researchers noted that in order to assess fully the benefits and risks of stereotactic body radiation therapy, comparative studies are needed. These studies should preferably be randomized trials but, at a minimum, there is a need for trials with concurrent controls. The technical brief also provides a review of key research questions that remain unanswered and may be helpful to radiology researchers in prioritizing future research.

3. AHRQ Releases Tool to Help Consumers Reduce Medication Errors

Three out of four Americans are not following their doctor's advice when it comes to taking prescription medication, according to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. AHRQ and the National Council on Patient Information and Education have released a revised guide to help patients learn more about how to take medicines safely. "Your Medicines: Be Smart. Be Safe" is a booklet that includes a detachable, wallet-sized card that can be personalized to help patients keep track of all medicines they are taking, including vitamins and herbal and other dietary supplements. Available in English and Spanish, the guide includes questions that patients can ask their doctors about their medications. Select to access a copy of the guide. Print copies are available by sending an E-mail to

4. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Highlights Health Promotion in Underserved Women

This week, AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three programs that describe innovative approaches to providing health care services to underserved women. One such innovative program is the Women of Means in Boston that provides health care and case management to homeless women in shelters. Volunteer clinicians provide preventive care, basic medical and hygiene supplies, and routine diagnostic testing, and paid nurses provide case management services to connect the women to other medical and social services including housing. More innovations on underserved women are available on AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site.

5. 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.

Traylor AH, Schmittdiel JA, Uratsu CS, et al. Adherence to cardiovascular disease medications: does patient-provider race/ethnicity and language concordance matter? J Gen Intern Med 2010 Nov; 25(11):1172-7 Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Routh JC, Grant FD, Kokorowski P, et al. Costs and consequences of universal sibling screening for vesicoureteral reflux: decision analysis. Pediatrics 2010 Nov; 126(5):865-71. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Osborn CY, Mayberry LS, Mulvaney SA, Hess R. Patient web portals to improve diabetes outcomes: a systematic review. Curr Diab Rep 2010 Dec; 10(6):422-35. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Berkowitz Z, Saraiya M, Benard V, et al. Common abnormal results of pap and human papillomavirus cotesting: what physicians are recommending for management. Obstet Gynecol 2010 Dec; 116(6):1332-40. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Desroches CM, Agarwal R, Angst CM, et al. Differences between integrated and stand-alone e-prescribing systems have implications for future use. Health Aff 2010 Dec; 29(12):2268-77. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mukherjee B, Ou HT, Wang F, et al. A new comorbidity index: the health-related quality of life comorbidity index. J Clin Epidemiol 2011 Mar;64(3):309-19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Carlos RC, Dempsey AF, Resnicow K, et al. Feasibility of using maternal cancer screening visits to identify adolescent girls eligible for human papillomavirus vaccination. J Womens Health 2010 Dec; 19(12):2271-5. 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.

If you have questions about AHRQ's activities, please try to find the answers by checking our Home Page, where we have established links to various topical areas. Also check the News & Information section and Frequently Asked Questions. You may also Browse the Web Site. These features are designed to assist you in obtaining the information you are seeking.

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Page last reviewed May 2011
Internet Citation: HHS Releases New Online Patient Safety Training Resources for Clinicians and Patient Advocates. May 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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


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