AHRQ News Now: improving heart health; COVID-19 lessons learned; support for Hispanic Heritage Month

AHRQ News Now

September 29, 2021, Issue #782

AHRQ Stats


For more information on this topic, access the associated data spotlight, as well as additional AHRQ data infographics.

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Views Blog Post: AHRQ Initiatives Support Better Heart Health for All Americans

In recognition of World Heart Day on Sept. 29, a new AHRQ Views blog post outlines agency initiatives that support better heart health. Arlene Bierman, M.D., M.S., director of AHRQ’s Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement, cites the impacts of heart disease on Americans, especially people of color and underserved communities. AHRQ initiatives contributing to better heart health include EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health, which used an external support model to improve the delivery of heart health services in primary care; EvidenceNOW: Building State Capacity, designed to advance equity in heart health by supporting the development of state-based infrastructure to improve heart health in communities with the greatest need; and the TAKEheart Initiative, which provides training, coaching and technical assistance for implementation of proven strategies to increase patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation. Access the blog post. To receive all blog posts, submit your email address and select “AHRQ Views Blog.”

Lessons From COVID-19 Outbreak in Michigan Nursing Homes


An AHRQ-funded study published in American Journal of Infection Control identified opportunities to improve pandemic preparedness among Michigan nursing homes, which were hard hit by COVID-19. About 143 nursing homes responding in spring 2020 to a 43-question online survey said that they had dealt with equipment shortages, conflicting information from a range of sources, testing difficulties and staffing challenges. Lessons learned in the early pandemic experience included the potential value of interventions such as:

  • Improving information sharing between nursing homes and local health systems
  • Employing full-time infection preventionists with decision-making authority
  • Enhancing staffing ratios and retention by augmenting compensation and working to reduce leadership turnover
  • Including nursing homes alongside hospitals in regional emergency preparedness planning

Access the study abstract as well as safety and quality improvement tools in AHRQ’s COVID-19 Resources Catalog for Nursing Homes.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, AHRQ Highlights Spanish-Language Resources and Data for Latino Populations


In support of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15–Oct. 15, AHRQ continues to raise awareness about the lack of equity and the persistence of health disparities that affect Latino populations. AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) features national data on disparities in healthcare quality, and the QDR Data Query Tool allows users to search measures with data specific to Latinos. Access consumer information that AHRQ has made available in Spanish as well as AHRQ grantee profiles:

  • Dr. Glenn Flores’ research explores disparities in children’s health, particularly among the Latino population.
  • Dr. Melissa Stockwell investigates the use of health information technology to improve pediatric vaccination rates at Latino community health centers.

Additional AHRQ resources for healthcare professionals include the Spanish versions of the Surveys on Patient Safety Culture (for hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, community pharmacies and ambulatory surgery centers) and Spanish-language consumer materials from the Effective Healthcare Program.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Featured Impact Case Study: Concordia University in Wisconsin Uses TeamSTEPPS To Train Students Entering the Workforce


Students from the School of Health Professions (SHP) at Concordia University receive training on TeamSTEPPS®  as part of their Interprofessional Practice and Education Certificate. The certificate is offered to all SPH degree programs, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, physician assistant, social work and diagnostic medical sonography. Getting TeamSTEPPS-trained while in college helps students learn strategies used routinely in the field and designed to improve teamwork, communications and patient safety. Access the Impact Case Study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Analysis of patient income in the 5 years following a fracture treated surgically. O'Hara NN, Slobogean GP, Klazinga NS, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Feb;4(2):e2034898. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Serum potassium changes due to concomitant ACEI/ARB and spironolactone therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Villa-Zapata L, Carhart BS, Horn JR, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021 May 20. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Radiation therapy for brain metastases: a systematic review. Garsa A, Jang JK, Baxi S, et al. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2021 Sep-Oct;11(5):354-65. Epub 2021 Jun 9. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sincere integration of patients' perspectives into kidney care: affirming and adopting patient activation. Nair D, Cavanaugh KL. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2021 Jun;16(6):840-2. Epub 2021 Jun 11. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Evaluation of hospital nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and sepsis bundles on patient outcomes. Lasater KB, Sloane DM, McHugh MD, et al. Am J Infect Control. 2021 Jul;49(7):868-73. Epub 2020 Dec 10. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Emotional aspects of pediatric post-intensive care syndrome following traumatic brain injury. Bradbury KR, Williams C, Leonard S, et al. J Child Adolesc Trauma. 2021 Jun;14(2):177-87. Epub 2021 Apr 6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Prevalence of functional limitations and their associations with systemic cancer therapy among older adults in nursing homes with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Panagiotou OA, Keeney T, Ogarek JA, et al. J Geriatr Oncol. 2021 Jun;12(5):765-70. Epub 2021 Feb 18. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Emergency department telemedicine consults decrease time to interpret computed tomography of the head in a multi-network cohort. Swanson MB, Miller AC, Ward MM, et al. J Telemed Telecare. 2021 Jul;27(6):343-52. Epub 2019 Nov 4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

For comments or questions about AHRQ News Now, contact Bruce Seeman, (301) 427-1998 or Bruce.Seeman@ahrq.hhs.gov.