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Research Activities, October 2010, No. 362


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Health care-associated infections greatly increase the length and cost of hospital stays

Safety/Quality of Care

Quality improvement initiative successful in sustaining reduction in bloodstream infections caused by catheters
Timely followup remains an issue with abnormal lab results in electronic health records
Parents continue to weigh vaccine benefits with adverse effects when deciding to vaccinate their children

Health Care Costs and Financing

Pay-for-performance does not improve care quality in the short term in safety-net settings
Health plan choices are associated with lower premiums for employees
Most spending on children's health care in Medicaid and CHIP goes for children with chronic health problems
For elderly patients with depression, cost-sharing insurance policies reduce drug use without increasing use of care

Access to Care

Patients with financial worries or no insurance delay going to the hospital for a heart attack
Rural elderly with dementia are hospitalized more often for conditions that primary care visits might have caught
Project helps those with spinal cord injury identify community and environmental barriers


Colorectal cancer screening is mostly underused, but problems with overuse and misuse remain

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Delay in filling a blood-thinner prescription after procedures to implant a drug-eluting stent is risky
Patients with adult-onset diabetes with limited health literacy more likely to suffer hypoglycemic episodes
Laboratory tests can accurately detect two clotting-factor mutations that raise risk of blood clots
A new study links biomarker of brain injury to microemboli occurring during cardiac surgery
The role of hospital care in general medical care has declined over time

Health Information Technology

Decision support in the electronic record improves asthma care
Use of certain electronic health record features is associated with improved primary care quality measures
Regional health information exchanges must do more to attract small practices

Pharmaceutical Research

More than a quarter of patients do not fill prescriptions for new medications
Acamprosate safe and efficacious in treating alcohol dependence
How community pharmacies decide how and whether to provide immunization services

Public Health Preparedness

Pandemic, disaster could overwhelm U.S. critical care capacity in certain regions

Women's Health

Live or Web-based training improves clinical estimates of blood loss during childbirth

Agency News and Notes

Risks, benefits of emerging heart valve replacement technique not fully understood
Treating Americans with diabetes cost hospitals $83 billion
Potentially avoidable hospitalizations for heart failure lowest in mountain States
Southeastern and mid-Atlantic States have highest rate of sepsis-related deaths
Oregon and Vermont show fewest hospitalizations for children with asthma
Study recommends disclosure of medical mistakes that affect multiple patients


AHRQ launches healthy men Web site
AHRQ seeks new topic nominations for U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Two courses added to HCUP Online Tutorial Series

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Page last reviewed October 2010
Internet Citation: Research Activities, October 2010, No. 362. October 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.