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AHRQ Handbook Helps Physician Practices Implement Interactive Preventive Health Records

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 350

The AHRQ Electronic Newsletter is issued periodically and summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.

July 23, 2012

AHRQ Stats

Animal bites, stings, and other injuries accounted for nearly 1.3 million "treat and release" emergency department visits and almost 61,000 hospital stays in 2009, with ticks, mosquitoes, and dogs accounting for the majority. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Statistical Brief #134: Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations Associated with Animal Injuries, 2009].

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ handbook helps physician practices implement interactive preventive health records.
  2. New clinician resources on diagnostic tests for children with undiagnosed musculoskeletal pain.
  3. AHRQ's Innovations Exchange features examples of reducing diabetes disparities through peer support.
  4. AHRQ request for information and Web conference focuses on health IT enabled quality measurement.
  5. AHRQ 2012 Annual Conference registration now open.
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature.

1. AHRQ Handbook Helps Physician Practices Implement Interactive Preventive Health Records

A new AHRQ handbook offers practical guidance to physician practices on the implementation of interactive preventive health records (IPHRs). The handbook is based on the lessons learned from implementation using electronic health records (EHRs) from three different vendors at 14 different physician practices. An Interactive Preventive Care Record: A Handbook for Using Patient-Centered Personal Health Records to Promote Prevention provides practical steps when integrating IPHRs as components of EHRs. A recent article published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that IPHR users were more likely to be up-to-date on all preventive services than non-users, especially for screening tests and immunizations. The study findings showed that an IPHR and similar systems can improve important patient outcomes, such as the delivery of evidence-based preventive care. The IPHR was developed and studied in three AHRQ-funded projects to better understand how to broadly implement and disseminate patient-centered information systems throughout primary care. The projects show the development and effect of the IPHR tool on patient outcomes, the ability for it to be successfully adopted into multiple and varied EHRs and health care settings, and how it can be integrated into the primary care workflow for an entire practice's patient population. Select to access the handbook and for more information on AHRQ's IPHR projects. 

2. New Clinician Resources on Diagnostic Tests for Children with Undiagnosed Musculoskeletal Pain

A new clinician research summary from AHRQ's Effective Healthcare Program provides an overview of existing evidence on how well serological tests (antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, and cyclic-citrullinated peptide) determine if undiagnosed musculoskeletal (MSK) pain in children and adolescents is due to inflammatory arthritis or more common causes such as trauma, overuse, and normal bone growth. The occurrence of MSK pain has increased over the past 20 years and varies with age and gender. However, only about 3 percent of cases are due to a serious inflammatory disease. Research on the performance of these tests to detect rare rheumatic causes of MSK pain in children does not provide enough evidence to support the broad use of serological tests to diagnose children. The tests are potentially useful only to support a clinical assessment that suggests the presence of inflammatory arthritis or a connective tissue disease. The clinician summary is also accompanied by a CME/CE activity and a faculty slide set. These materials are based on the research review, Antinuclear Antibody, Rheumatoid Factor, and Cyclic-citrullinated Peptide Tests for the Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Complaints in Pediatric Populations, support discussions of options with patients and assists in decisionmaking along with consideration of a patient's values and preferences.

3. AHRQ's Innovations Exchange Features Examples of Reducing Diabetes Disparities through Peer Support

The July 18 issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features two profiles of programs that used peer support to improve the outcomes of vulnerable patient populations, especially African-Americans. One such program at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center paired African-American veterans with diabetes who had their blood glucose under control with African-American veterans whose blood glucose was not controlled. After the mentors completed a one-hour training session, they telephoned, or met, with their assigned patients on a regular basis over a 6-month period to help them address challenges such as diet, exercise, and insulin use. The program significantly reduced blood glucose levels and generated a positive reaction from many participants. Select to read more innovations and tools related to peer support on the Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 700 searchable innovations and 1,500 QualityTools.

4. AHRQ Request for Information and Web Conference Focuses on Health IT-Enabled Quality Measurement

AHRQ is seeking comments through August 20 on ways to improve quality measurement through health IT. As a part of its initiative to identify possibilities and pathways to the next generation of health IT enabled quality measurement, AHRQ has issued a Federal Register notice for "Request for Information (RFI) on Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT." The RFI seeks ideas and input from the public across diversified stakeholder groups on successful strategies and remaining challenges in the creation of health IT-enabled quality measure development and reporting. AHRQ encourages from health IT system developers, vendors, payers, quality measure developers, clinicians, and health care consumers. Select to read the July 20 Federal Register notice. In addition, AHRQ will host a national Web conference on July 31 at 1:30 p.m. ET to provide additional information on the RFI and review highlights of the report Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT: Overview, Possibilities, and Challenges. AHRQ staff will review highlights of the report and convene a dialogue about how to capture quality through health IT. Participants will learn about current initiatives to measure health care quality and possibilities for the next generation of health IT-enabled quality measurement. Select to register for the free 90-minute Web conference.

5. AHRQ 2012 Annual Conference Registration Now Open

Join us for this year's AHRQ 2012 Annual Conference to be held September 9-11 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. This year's conference theme is Moving Ahead: Leveraging Knowledge and Action to Improve Health Care Quality. The sessions will highlight AHRQ's efforts to improve quality of care through both research and implementation. Select for more information and to register. You can also stay connected to the conference via AHRQ on Twitter .

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Access to the abstracts may be blocked because of firewalls or specific settings on individual computer systems. If you are having problems, ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Roman LA, Raffo JE, Meghea CI. Maternal perceptions of help from home visits by nurse-community health worker teams. Am J Public Health 2012 Apr; 102(4):643-5. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Gurses AP, Ozok AA, Pronovost PJ. Time to accelerate integration of human factors and ergonomics in patient safety. BMJ Qual Saf 2012 Apr; 21(4):347-51. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Hoffman GJ, Lee J, Mendez-Luck CA. Health behaviors among Baby Boomer informal caregivers. Gerontologist 2012 Apr; 52(2):219-30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Ryan AM, Blustein J, Casalino LP. Medicare's flagship test of pay-for-performance did not spur more rapid quality improvement among low-performing hospitals. Health Aff 2012 Apr; 31(4):797-805. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Sequist TD, Morong SM, Marston A, et al. Electronic risk alerts to improve primary care management of chest pain: a randomized, controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med 2012 Apr; 27(4):438-44. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Carroll AE, Parikh PD, Buddenbaum JL. The impact of defense expenses in medical malpractice claims. J Law Med Ethics 2012 Spring; 40(1):135-42. 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.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Page last reviewed July 2012
Internet Citation: AHRQ Handbook Helps Physician Practices Implement Interactive Preventive Health Records: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 350. July 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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