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Research Activities

August 2009, No. 348


About Research Activities

Feature Story

New snapshots show States vary widely in providing quality health care

Patient Safety and Quality

Clinical practice guidelines for cardiology are steeped more in expert opinion than scientific evidence
Specialists are less likely than generalists to spot clinically important drug-drug interactions
Hospitals with better safety climates have fewer events that can potentially harm patients
Medicare claims data identify hospital-acquired catheter-associated urinary tract infections with limited accuracy
Accurate secondary diagnosis codes improve risk adjustment of inpatient mortality rates
Quality adjusted life years: Looking for consensus

Disparities/Minority Health

Individuals living in predominantly white, wealthy, and educated neighborhoods have better melanoma prognosis
Economically disadvantaged patients may have trouble with patient-provider communication

Women's Health

Behavioral health carve-outs limit access of women with breast cancer to psychotherapy and related medications
Journal supplement focuses on guidelines for international breast health and cancer control-implementation

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Making medication administration a dedicated activity free of interruptions could improve long-term care drug safety
Public reporting of nursing home care improves care delivery

Chronic Disease

Study finds high medication error rates among adults and children receiving outpatient cancer treatment
The complications and costs of obesity surgery are declining
A greater number of different chronic conditions increases hospital readmissions and costs
Coronary artery bypass surgery may be better than angioplasty for older patients and those with diabetes

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Medicare's end-stage renal disease program seems to have reduced outcome disparities among dialysis patients
Hospital system type affects mortality rates

Public Health Preparedness

Common definitions and reverse triage can help hospital planners meet surge capacity demands during emergencies

Emergency Medicine

Only a few academic emergency departments have dedicated pharmacists
Laparoscopic colon surgery is just as good as open surgery for emergencies

Acute Care/Hospitalization

More education is needed to improve delirium and sedation management in intensive care units
Performance obstacles negatively affect how ICU nurses perceive the quality and safety of care they deliver
Diagnostic codes alone may misclassify bacterial infections among hospitalized patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Mental Health

Availability of primary care results in better mental health for rural residents
Southerners have higher financial burden for mental health/substance abuse treatment

Health Care Costs and Financing

Varied Medicare reimbursement for bone density scans may be due to lack of clear diagnostic codes for test indications

Agency News and Notes

Many young adults have no health insurance and no regular doctor
Childbirth injuries fall sharply but more could be prevented
AHRQ report finds value of genetic testing for preventing blood clots unproven


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Page last reviewed August 2009
Internet Citation: Research Activities: August 2009, No. 348. August 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.