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AHRQ Offers New Version of Quality Indicators™ Toolkit

Issue 446
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
October 28, 2014

AHRQ Stats

There were 36.5 million hospital stays in the United States in 2012, each averaging 4.5 days at a cost of $10,400. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #180: Overview of Hospital Stays in the United States, 2012.)

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ Offers New Version of Quality Indicators™ Toolkit.
  2. AHRQ Study Finds Evidence Lacking on Psychological Harms for Five Screening Guidelines.
  3. PTSD Treatment Learning Module Added to AHRQ Continuing Education Activities.
  4. AHRQ Technical Brief Explores Effectiveness of Imaging Techniques in Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer.
  5. National Quality Strategy Priorities in Action Features School-Based Health Centers in Connecticut.
  6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ Offers New Version of Quality Indicators™ Toolkit

A new version of the AHRQ Quality Indicators™ Toolkit for Hospitals is available to help acute-care facilities improve inpatient quality performance. The free toolkit offers hospitals the opportunity to:

  • Improve performance on two sets of AHRQ Quality Indicators, 18 Patient-Safety Indicators and 28 Inpatient Quality Indicators.
  • Measure hospital quality using available inpatient data to assess the quality of care, identify areas that need improvement and track performance over time.
  • Take advantage of "best practices" for 14 Patient-Safety Indicators, including information to determine where gaps exist and suggestions for hospitals regarding improvement, process steps and additional resources.

Users can also approach quality improvement work from various levels of readiness. Facilities can select any of the 33 tools available to meet their specific hospital quality needs. The tools are designed for multiple audiences, including senior leaders, analysts and multidisciplinary improvement teams.

2. AHRQ Study Finds Evidence Lacking on Psychological Harms for Five Screening Guidelines

An AHRQ-funded study and abstract in the August issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine revealed that only a small number of studies have addressed the psychological harms of selected screening services. According to the study, more evidence exists on the physical harms of screening services compared with psychological harms, which can include anxiety, distress and reduced quality of life. A team led by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, examined the literature assessing psychological harms of screening services reviewed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for the following five conditions: prostate and lung cancers, abdominal aortic aneurysm, osteoporosis and carotid artery stenosis. Among the available evidence, only one-third of the studies on psychological harm used both a longitudinal design and included condition-specific measures, which provide the best level of evidence on psychological harm. The authors called on clinicians and guideline panels to use a wider consideration of screening harms in research design. The study is titled, "The Psychological Harms of Screening: the Evidence We Have Versus the Evidence We Need."

3. PTSD Treatment Learning Module Added to AHRQ Continuing Education Activities

A learning module on treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder is the latest addition to AHRQ’s growing set of free continuing medical education activities based on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). The module, "Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)," is intended for mental health care providers, including primary care providers, psychiatrists, other physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, health educators and case managers. Other PCOR-based modules include strategies to prevent obesity in adults and children, screening for hepatitis C and treatment for peripheral artery disease. AHRQ offers a variety of continuing education activities, including modules on improving quality and patient safety.

4. AHRQ Technical Brief Explores Effectiveness of Imaging Techniques in Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

A new technical brief from AHRQ reviewed imaging techniques for treatment evaluation for metastatic breast cancer. The brief, "Imaging Techniques for Treatment Evaluation for Metastatic Breast Cancer," is based on several small, nonrandomized studies and did not focus on comprehensive comparative information, such as which type of test is best for which patient. The brief found limited evidence for the accuracy and effectiveness of imaging modalities to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for metastatic breast cancer. More research is needed and might address the lack of information on patient-centered outcomes, cost and patient involvement in decision-making.

5. National Quality Strategy Priorities in Action Features School-Based Health Centers in Connecticut

The latest edition of the National Quality Strategy Priorities in Action features the Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers, an advocacy and networking organization committed to increasing access to quality health care for children and adolescents in Connecticut schools. The state’s 88 school-based health centers (SBHCs) provide physical, mental and oral health services to more than 44,000 students in 22 Connecticut communities each year and have become a key part of Connecticut's comprehensive coordinated care system for children and adolescents. In the case of children and adolescents insured by Medicaid, each visit to an SBHC saves an estimated $35 in Medicaid costs per child per year. The program’s efforts align with National Quality Strategy priorities by promoting the delivery of person- and family-centered care in schools with the most effective prevention and treatment practices for obesity. The SBHCs work with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living and make quality care affordable. The National Quality Strategy, first published in March 2011, was mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. It is led by AHRQ on behalf of HHS.

6. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Damianov DS, Pagán JA. Health insurance coverage, income distribution and healthcare quality in local healthcare markets. Health Econ. 2013 Aug;22(8):987-1002. Epub 2012 Oct 19. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Volandes AE, Barry MJ, Wood F, et al. Audio-video decision support for patients: the documentary genré as a basis for decision aids. Health Expect. 2013 Sep;16(3):e80-e88. Epub 2011 Oct 28. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Quigley DD, Elliott MN, Farley DO, et al. Specialties differ in which aspects of doctor communication predict overall physician ratings. J Gen Intern Med 2014 Mar; 29(3):447-54. Epub 2013 Oct 26. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Drösler SE, Romano PS, Sundararajan V, et al. How many diagnosis fields are needed to capture safety events in administrative data? Findings and recommendations from the WHO ICD-11 Topic Advisory Group on Quality and Safety. Int J Qual Health Care 2014 Feb;26(1):16-25. Epub 2013 Dec 13. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Chung S, Panattoni L, Hung D, et al. Why do we observe a limited impact of primary care access measures on clinical quality indicators? J Ambul Care Manage 2014 Apr-Jun;37(2):155-63. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Martinez-Donate AP, Halverson J, Simon NJ, et al. Identifying health literacy and health system navigation needs among rural cancer patients: findings from the Rural Oncology Literacy Enhancement Study (ROLES). J Cancer Educ. 2013 Sep;28(3):573-81. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Prouty CD, Foglia MB, Gallagher TH. Patients' experiences with disclosure of a large-scale adverse event. J Clin Ethics. 2013 Winter;24(4):353-63. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Drees M, Pineles L, Harris AD, et al. Variation in definitions and isolation procedures for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria: a survey of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Research Network. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014 Apr;35(4):362-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created October 2014
Internet Citation: AHRQ Offers New Version of Quality Indicators™ Toolkit. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/446.html

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

 

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