Issue Archive

2014

Issue Date: 09/10/14
Educating and engaging individuals in self-management of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma can increase patient activation and lead to better health outcomes.The featured Innovations describe three programs that used innovative strategies to improve disease-related...
Issue Date: 08/27/14
Underserved communities often lack adequate access to primary health care services, increasing the risk of poor health outcomes. High demand for services can result in primary care clinics taking on large numbers of patients, leaving limited time for patient visits; many clinicians do not have the...
Issue Date: 08/13/14
Breastfeeding provides health benefits for both infants and mothers: it provides babies with vital nutrients and antibodies that can defend against illness, and it reduces the risk of type II diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers for mothers. The Office on Women's Health estimates that "if 90% of...
Issue Date: 07/30/14
Mobile technology is increasingly being used to enhance care and support improvements in patient care processes. The featured Innovations describe three initiatives that used mobile technology in various ways to improve care management. The programs include one that designed tablet-based...
Issue Date: 07/16/14
Traditional compensation systems create little or no incentive for physicians to focus on quality improvement activities or manage costs. Many payment systems for physicians are based on a fee-for-service model that encourages them to perform reimbursable procedures only and use resources without...
Issue Date: 07/02/14
A March 2014 report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates there are 64.6 million individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) across the 49 States that provided enrollment data for March 2014. To improve the...
Issue Date: 06/18/14
Medical devices and monitoring equipment that alert staff to rapid deterioration in patients can be effective in reducing adverse outcomes, but the large number of clinically insignificant alarms that occur in a hospital can lead to alarm fatigue, with staff delaying responses or even ignoring...
Issue Date: 06/04/14
Inappropriate calls to emergency medical services (EMS) providers and unnecessary use of the emergency department (ED) occur frequently. Handling nonemergency calls raises the costs of providing EMS and ED services, diverts valuable resources away from true emergencies, and can result in delayed...
Issue Date: 05/21/14
Hospital pricing for elective procedures can vary significantly across facilities within a given market area, and differences are typically unrelated to variations in quality of care. Under most benefit plans, insured consumers lack incentive to choose hospitals offering a lower price for these...
Issue Date: 05/07/14
Mental health conditions are a leading cause of mental and physical disability, particularly for people of low socioeconomic status. Trained and certified individuals who are in recovery from mental illness and/or substance abuse can provide sensitive, practical support to peers because of their...
Issue Date: 04/23/14
Patient- and family-centered care is an approach to health care planning, delivery, and evaluation that encourages patient involvement and partnership among health care providers, patients, and families. Important concepts include respect and dignity, information sharing, participation, and...
Issue Date: 04/09/14
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 58,000 paid, regulated long-term care (LTC) providers delivered services to approximately 8 million people in the United States in 2012. Policymakers and health care organizations are using innovative approaches...
Issue Date: 03/26/14
Low-income, pregnant women often do not receive adequate prenatal care, leading to poor outcomes. First-time mothers in low-income communities may also lack necessary support and resources to help care for themselves and their children and to access health care. Connecting at-risk women and...
Issue Date: 03/12/14
Prescribing of opioid analgesics has increased substantially in recent years, as have the consequences associated with opioid misuse: emergency department (ED) visits, treatment admissions, and overdose-related fatalities. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data,...
Issue Date: 02/26/14
According to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of older Americans have multiple chronic conditions, and 66% of the Nation’s health care budget is spent treating this population. Community-based initiatives can improve the health of at-risk seniors and...
Issue Date: 02/12/14
Low-income and other vulnerable populations often lack adequate medical insurance or have limited access to health services and may wait until a health crisis occurs to seek care in an emergency department. Community agencies and stakeholders are collaborating with clinical organizations to improve...
Issue Date: 01/29/14
Lack of adequate, timely information poses a challenge for health care organizations and frontline providers in their quality improvement efforts. Access to useful data on health care utilization and performance can help organizations identify and address problem areas, target resources effectively...
Issue Date: 01/15/14
Employees with multiple health risk factors tend to use more health care resources, miss more days of work, and perform at less-than-optimal levels of efficiency and productivity. Well-constructed employee health and wellness programs can be effective in reducing risk factors and improving employee...

2013

Issue Date: 12/18/13
Seriously ill or very elderly patients often cannot express their wishes because of limited mental or physical capabilities, leading to health care decisions that may be inconsistent with their wishes. Although advance care planning—a shared decisionmaking process about future health care choices—...
Issue Date: 12/04/13
Rural populations face multiple challenges that contribute to disparities in mental health care. Barriers to accessing high-quality care in rural settings include shortages of mental health professionals, limited or lack of inpatient and emergency psychiatric services, and the need to travel long...
Issue Date: 11/20/13
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were approximately 130 million visits to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. In addition to providing emergent care, staff at EDs can help identify patients at risk for mental and behavioral health...
Issue Date: 11/06/13
Patients with minor health problems generally must schedule an appointment and travel to a health care provider’s office or clinic for care, often having to wait a day or more and take time away from work or other activities to attend the visit. Virtual visits can reduce wait times by allowing off-...
Issue Date: 10/23/13
In many hospital emergency departments (EDs), a small percentage of patients account for a disproportionate share of visits and resources. Sometimes referred to as ED “super users,” these individuals often lack a regular source of care and typically present to the ED with non-urgent conditions,...
Issue Date: 10/09/13
Advancements in health information technology and the increasing use of health care data are providing new opportunities for quality improvement in pediatric care. Innovative approaches to collecting, analyzing, and sharing data can improve the delivery of preventive services, support the delivery...
Issue Date: 09/25/13
According to AHRQ’s 2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report, “differences in access to care, social determinants, provider biases, poor provider–patient communication, and poor health literacy” are among the factors that contribute to disparities in care received by racial and ethnic minorities...

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