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AHRQ Launches New Web-Based Tool for States To Measure Performance on the Quality of Health Care Across America

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Press Release Date: March 17, 2006 

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released a new interactive Web-based tool for States to use in measuring health care quality. The new State Snapshot Web tool is based on the 2005 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the 2005 National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR), originally released on January 9, and provides quick and easy access to the many measures and tables of the NHQR from each State's perspective.  

"We developed the new State Snapshot tool because it is important for States and other health care policymakers to know how their State is doing in providing care," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "The need to improve quality of care for all Americans continues to be great, and this tool can help States target their very significant quality improvement efforts."

The State Snapshot tool provides a multitude of valuable information for each individual State, including:

  • State ranking tables that rank the 50 States and the District of Columbia on 15 representative measures of health care quality culled from 179 measures contained in the 2005 NHQR.  
  • Summary measures of the quality of types of care (prevention, acute, chronic) and settings of care (hospital, ambulatory, nursing home, and home health) for each State.
  • Comparisons of each State's summary measures to regional and national performance relative to the region or nation.
  • Performance meters that show at a glance a State's performance relative to the region or nation.
  • Data tables for each State's summary measures that show the NHQR detailed measures and numbers behind the performance meters.

Also, the State Snapshot tool features a special focus on each State's performance in the treatment of diabetes across three areas: 

  • Quality of diabetes care.
  • Disparities in diabetes treatment.
  • Cost savings that States might accrue by implementing disease management for diabetes for State government employees.

During 2005, AHRQ released several resources to help States target their quality improvement efforts such as Diabetes Care Quality Improvement: A Resource Guide for State Action and its companion Workbook and several online tools for States developed from the 2004 NHQR (go to

AHRQ will partner with four States in 2006 to develop a complementary guide to the State Snapshot Web tool that will help States use the information from the tool for priority setting and quality improvement.

The 2005 National Healthcare Quality Report and the 2005 National Healthcare Disparities Report are available online at, by calling 1-800-358-9295, or by sending an E-mail to

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1245 or (301) 427-1855.


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