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New AHRQ Center Focuses on Practice Improvement

Issue 433
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
July 22, 2014

AHRQ Stats

Nearly 85 percent of the population had health care expenses in 2011. The average annual expense was $5,056 per person. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #425: National Health Care Expenses in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2011.)

Today's Headlines

  1. New AHRQ Center Focuses on Practice Improvement.
  2. AHRQ and Joint Commission Launch E-Learning Module To Reduce Long Term Care Infections.
  3. HCUP 2012 National Inpatient Sample is Redesigned and Now Available.
  4. Now Available as E-Book: User's Guide on Developing Patient Registries.
  5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Physician Performance–Based Incentive Programs.
  6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. New AHRQ Center Focuses on Practice Improvement

AHRQ has consolidated two of its existing centers—the Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships and the Center for Outcomes and Evidence—to form a new center, the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement. The new center will focus on accelerating practice improvement across the health care system and will engage stakeholders to promote the implementation of evidence into practice. The new center will also include a National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research, a home for AHRQ's evidence and tools about improving primary health care.

2. AHRQ and Joint Commission Launch E-Learning Module To Reduce Long Term Care Infections

Assisted living and nursing home staff at all levels can help prevent healthcare-associated infections by using a 50-minute e-learning tool based on high reliability principles. The online module teaches long-term care facilities to apply these principles, which can help them achieve safety, quality and efficiency goals, to prevent infections and achieve high safety performance over extended periods. The Joint Commission developed the e-learning module with partial funding from AHRQ. It features quizzes and a searchable database of practical resources. The free CDs and online format are available to all facilities, not only Joint Commission customers.

3. HCUP 2012 National Inpatient Sample is Redesigned and Now Available

AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) National Inpatient Sample (NIS) featuring 2012 data is now available. The 2012 NIS was redesigned to improve national estimates. The new design is a 20 percent sample of hospital stays, yielding 7 million discharges from the 4,300 hospitals in HCUP. Prior to 2012, the NIS was a sample of hospitals and included 100 percent of discharges from those hospitals. This and other changes to the NIS design result in more precise national estimates with reductions in sampling error and better data confidentiality. To signify this change in design, AHRQ renamed the "Nationwide Inpatient Sample" the "National Inpatient Sample." The NIS is used to identify, track and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes. As the largest all-payer inpatient visit database in the United States, the NIS enables analyses of infrequent conditions, uncommon treatments and special patient populations, including the uninsured. The 2012 NIS can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor, and select statistics are on the free, online query system HCUPnet. Additional information is on the NIS Overview Page.

4. Now Available as E-Book: User's Guide on Developing Patient Registries

"Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide, 3rd Edition," an AHRQ Effective Health Care Program publication, is now available in e-book format. This user's guide provides information on the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of registries for patient outcomes. The guide was first published in 2007 as a reference for establishing, maintaining and evaluating the success of registries created to collect data about patient outcomes. The second edition, published in 2010, provided updates to the existing topics and addressed four new topics. In the third edition, information on new methodological and technological advances has been incorporated into the existing chapters, and 11 chapters addressing emerging topics in registry science have been added. Download the user's guide for free or access the guide in e-book file formats, also free, for use with e-book readers (e.g., Nook, Kindle, iPad) from the Effective Health Care Program Web site.

5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Physician Performance–Based Incentive Programs

The latest issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three programs that offered financial incentives to physicians based on their performance in meeting clinical care improvement goals and on various metrics of efficiency and quality. One of the featured profiles describes a Partnership for Quality program at HealthSpring, a Medicare managed care organization in Nashville, Tennessee, that awards bonuses equal to as much as 20 percent of health plan payments if physicians meet clinical care improvement goals. At nine participating practices, the program led to significant improvements in a broad range of clinical quality indicators, along with decreases in members' emergency department visits, hospitalizations and total medical expenses. Featured quality tools include an interactive tool that helps practitioners determine their payment adjustments and reimbursements for Medicare incentive programs. The Innovations Exchange includes a variety of innovation profiles related to physician performance and financial incentives.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Carayon P, Wetterneck TB, Cartmill R, et al. Characterising the complexity of medication safety using a human factors approach: an observational study in two intensive care units. BMJ Qual Saf 2014 Jan;23(1):56-65. Epub 2013 Sep 19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sage WM, Gallagher TH, Armstrong S, et al. How policy makers can smooth the way for communication-and-resolution programs. Health Aff 2014 Jan;33(1):11-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hendrich A, McCoy CK, Gale J, et al. Ascension health's demonstration of full disclosure protocol for unexpected events during labor and delivery shows promise. Health Aff 2014 Jan;33(1):39-45. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Dimick JB, Birkmeyer NJ, Finks JF, et al. Composite measures for profiling hospitals on bariatric surgery performance. JAMA Surg 2014 Jan;149(1):10-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Pan IW, Smith BD, Shih YC. Factors contributing to underuse of radiation among younger women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2014 Jan;106(1):djt340. Epub 2013 Dec 7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sommers BD, Kenney GM, Epstein AM. New evidence on the Affordable Care Act: coverage impacts of early Medicaid expansions. Health Aff 2014 Jan;33(1):78-87. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Arora S, Thornton K, Komaromy M, et al. Demonopolizing medical knowledge. Acad Med 2014 Jan;89(1):30-2. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Schwartz AL, Sommers BD. Moving for Medicaid? Recent eligibility expansions did not induce migration from other states. Health Aff 2014 Jan;33(1):88-94. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed July 2014
Page originally created July 2014
Internet Citation: New AHRQ Center Focuses on Practice Improvement. Content last reviewed July 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/433.html

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

 

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