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Research Activities, January 2010, No. 353


About Research Activities

Feature Story

U.S. spends nearly $1 billion on blood thinners for adults

Health Care Costs and Financing

Medicare payment caps on home care add to the family caregiving burden, especially among lower-income families
Persons with mental disorders switching from Medicaid to Medicare drug coverage may have drug access problems

Patient Safety and Quality

Administration of antimicrobials just prior to surgery reduces the risk of surgical site infections
Simulating equipment failures can be useful to hone anesthesia providers' skills
Failure to order and follow up medical tests are leading causes of diagnostic errors
Medication changes are not always documented properly in physician notes or the electronic medical record
Criteria used to identify "drugs to avoid" in the elderly are not very accurate
Physicians in practices focused on quality improvement are less likely to be dissatisfied and stressed

Public Health Preparedness

Physicians aren't confident they can recognize infections from anthrax and other bioterrorism disease threats

Disparities/Minority Health

Black physicians are less likely to have implicit preferences for blacks or whites
Most Mexican patients prefer their rheumatologist to make treatment decisions for them

Mental Health

Fewer public psychiatric hospital beds may lead to higher suicide rates
Antidepressant use rises while psychotherapy declines
Youths initially diagnosed with ADHD receive an array of medications

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Antibiotic resistance is prevalent and varied in long-term-care facilities
Computerized decisionmaking systems improve physician prescribing for long-term-care residents

Health Information Technology

Primary care physicians like e-prescribing systems, but make little use of their advanced features
Use of electronic prescribing has expanded among Massachusetts physicians
Web-based programs help patients with diabetes feel empowered to take care of themselves
Longer use of electronic health records is not linked to improved quality of care

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Studies examine impact of drug caps and pay for performance on care costs and outcomes
MEPS household survey respondents tend to report some medical conditions more accurately than others
MEPS respondents underreport emergency department and office visits, but accurately report hospital stays
Individuals who seek care for coughs and colds in emergency departments have social support

Agency News and Notes

Two-thirds of people with diabetes miss some critically important exams to manage the disease


HHS Secretary appoints members to AHRQ National Advisory Council
AHRQ Announces Two New Funding Opportunities

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Page last reviewed January 2010
Internet Citation: Research Activities, January 2010, No. 353. January 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.