AHRQ Electronic Newsletter, February 2, 2016

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February 2, 2016, Issue #503

AHRQ Stats: Preventable Hospital Stays

Potentially preventable hospital stays – those that might be prevented with good outpatient care -- decreased at a faster rate (19 percent) than overall hospital stays (8 percent) between 2005 and 2012. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #195, Trends in Potentially Preventable Inpatient Hospital Admissions and Emergency Department Visits.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Study: Joint Replacement To Become the Most Common Elective Surgical Procedure in the Next Decades

By 2030, about 11 million Americans will have either a hip or knee replacement, making it one of the nation’s most common elective surgical procedures, according to an AHRQ-funded study. Using data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Database, researchers analyzed general population trends by year, state, gender and age group from 1990 to 2010. In 2010, researchers estimate that approximately 7 million Americans had had a total hip or knee replacement, including 620,000 individuals who had both procedures, according to the study. Researchers attributed the increase in joint replacement surgeries to several factors: the aging of the baby boomer population, high rates of diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and demands for improved mobility and high quality of life. Also contributing to the trend are younger individuals undergoing these procedures, coupled with improvements in life expectancy. In some cases, researchers said, younger patients will outlive their implants and require expensive revision surgeries with substantial cost implications. The majority of the individuals (70 percent) who have undergone total hip and/or knee replacement surgery are alive today. The study and abstract were published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

New Video Highlights AHRQ’s Efforts To Improve Heart Health

In observance of February as American Heart Month, AHRQ has released a new video that highlights EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, an Agency initiative that aims to support primary care practices in using the latest evidence to improve patients’ heart health. The video describes how seven regional cooperatives covering 12 states, as well as a national evaluation team, are working together to create a blueprint for how all of America’s primary care practices can improve patient care.  EvidenceNOW aligns with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts® initiative, focusing on the adoption of the ABCs of cardiovascular disease prevention: Aspirin use by high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.  Watch the video to learn more. Click here to read AHRQ's new blog post on EvidenceNOW.

AHRQ Study: Better Work Environment for Nurses Does Not Necessarily Mean Higher Value

Improving the work environment for nurses in hospitals may not lead to improvement in value, according to a recently published study in JAMA Surgery. The study addresses work environments’ effect on value (i.e., cost vs. quality), because while it is generally thought that hospitals with better nurse work environments provide higher quality of care, less is known about the environments’ effect on value. In this study, partially funded by AHRQ, researchers analyzed Medicare records in Illinois, New York and Texas. They compared outcomes and costs of nearly 26,000 patients at 35 hospitals recognized nationally as having good nurse work environments and high nurse-to-bed ratios against nearly 63,000 patients at 298 control hospitals from 2004 to 2006. They found that the 30-day mortality rate in the hospitals with good work environments was 4.8 percent versus 5.8 percent in the control hospitals, while the cost per patient was similar. Read the abstract.

New Research and Evidence From AHRQ


Register Now: February 10 Webinar on TeamSTEPPS® in Small and Rural Hospitals

AHRQ is hosting a webinar February 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET on the strategies and lessons learned about how to introduce and train small and rural hospitals in TeamSTEPPS® concepts. The webinar, "How to Introduce TeamSTEPPS in Small and Rural Hospitals: The Yellow Brick Road of Teamwork," will provide insights on engaging hospitals to become interested in TeamSTEPPS, as well as strategies for working to improve teamwork and communication skills within hospital settings with limited resources. There is no cost to participate. Click here to register.

Now Available: 2015 CAHPS® Health Plan Survey Chartbook

The 2015 CAHPS® Health Plan Survey Chartbook is now available. The Chartbook presents health plan survey results from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) in narrative summaries and bar charts, which can be downloaded for free. The 2015 CAHPS Health Plan Survey Database includes more than 320,000 patient experience survey responses submitted for Adult and Child Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) populations. Results are based on the voluntary submission of survey data to the CAHPS Database. Of the four CAHPS composites, the “How Well Doctors Communicate” composite was the highest scoring across Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP populations, and the Rating of Personal Doctor was the highest scoring rating. Users can view the results via an online reporting system or by requesting research data files. For more information, email CAHPSDatabase@westat.com or call 1-888-808-7108.

Proposals Now Being Accepted for Health Literacy Conference

Proposals for panels, interest groups and workshops are now being accepted for the AHRQ-funded 8th Health Literacy Annual Research Conference on October 17-18. The deadline for submissions is February 26. The conference program committee seeks proposals that reflect innovative research and information relevant to the field of health literacy. Obtain the submission form from the conference website or access presentations from the 2015 health literacy conference. The conference’s call for abstracts (individual papers) will start May 2.

Featured Case Study: New Hampshire Hospital Trains Hundreds in TeamSTEPPS®

Exeter Hospital in Exeter, New Hampshire, has trained approximately 400 employees in TeamSTEPPS, the patient safety training program developed by AHRQ and the Department of Defense to improve teamwork skills among health care professionals. Exeter also has incorporated TeamSTEPPS into staff training for Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Read the case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Association of fish oil supplement use with preservation of brain volume and cognitive function. Daiello LA, Gongvatana A, Dunsiger S, et al. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Feb;11(2):226-35. Epub 2014 Jun 18. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Effect of continuity of care on hospital utilization for seniors with multiple medical conditions in an integrated health care system. Bayliss EA, Ellis JL, Shoup JA, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2015 Mar;13(2):123-9. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Does hospital volume predict outcomes and complications after total shoulder arthroplasty in the US? Singh JA, Ramachandran R. Arthritis Care Res. 2015 May; 67(6):885-90. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

A randomized, home-based, childhood obesity intervention delivered by patient navigators. Yun L, Boles RE, Haemer MA, et al. BMC Public Health. 2015 May 23; 15:506. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Increased statin prescribing does not lower pneumonia risk. Polgreen LA, Cook EA, Brooks JM, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Jun 15;60(12):1760-6. Epub 2015 Mar 10. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

End-stage renal disease among HIV-infected adults in North America. Abraham AG, Althoff KN, Jing Y, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 15;60(6):941-9. Epub 2014 Nov 18. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Comparative effectiveness of early versus delayed metformin in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Romanelli RJ, Chung S, Pu J, et al. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015 Apr; 108(1):170-8. Epub 2015 Jan 21. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Narrow- and broad-spectrum antibiotic use among U.S. children. Sarpong EM, Miller GE. Health Serv Res. 2015 Jun;50(3):830-46. Epub 2014 Nov 25. Access the abstract on PubMed.®

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions about the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Bruce Seeman at: (301) 427-1998 or Bruce.Seeman@ahrq.hhs.gov.