Issue Archive

2011

Issue Date: 09/14/11
Home health visitation programs offer a range of services to improve the health status of individuals and families. These include assessments, education, and support, which create healthier environments for families to thrive.  The featured profiles describe two programs that provide home...
Issue Date: 08/31/11
Palliative care relieves suffering and improves quality of life for patients with serious conditions and their family caregivers. It involves symptom and pain management, shared decisionmaking, practical and psychosocial support, and coordination across care settings. Palliative care services are...
Issue Date: 08/17/11
Hospital readmissions are costly and often avoidable with better care transitions between hospitals and different care settings. According to a recent study, 23.5 percent of all patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities in 2006 were rehospitalized within 30 days, at a total cost of $4.34...
Issue Date: 08/03/11
A long-term goal of AHRQ is to foster linkages between clinical practices and community organizations to enhance the delivery of preventive services. By increasing access to health care and community services, these linkages can improve health outcomes and reduce disparities. The featured...
Issue Date: 07/20/11
Patients often receive fragmented care that is delivered across multiple providers and organizations. Health information technology is increasingly being used to improve care coordination by enabling the timely and effective exchange of clinical information between providers. The featured...
Issue Date: 07/06/11
Medical electronic alerts are being integrated into clinical decision support systems, electronic health records (EHRs), and electronic prescribing to improve patient safety and quality of care. Clinicians receive alerts or reminders at the point of care to take specific actions such as ordering a...
Issue Date: 06/22/11
Prison inmates are vulnerable to infectious diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis C, and other health problems. More than 70 percent of the approximately 700,000 people released from U.S. Federal and State prisons each year have chronic medical, substance abuse, and other mental health problems....
Issue Date: 06/08/11
Self-management is an important aspect of health care for individuals with chronic conditions. Patients and their families often have to learn and follow complex medical regimens, and make challenging changes in lifestyle, such as weight loss or increasing exercise. Through collaboration, patients...
Issue Date: 05/25/11
Health care professionals increasingly encounter patients from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds, yet they are often ill-equipped to understand and respond effectively to the patient's cultural needs. Health care organizations can facilitate the cultural competence of their staff by...
Issue Date: 05/11/11
Medically underserved women have difficulty accessing and using health care services, which increases their risk of serious health problems and even death. Women are more likely to be medically underserved if they reside in rural or geographically remote areas, have a physical or mental disability...
Issue Date: 04/27/11
The number of cell phone users has increased dramatically worldwide, making it easier to send mobile text messages. Public health agencies are using text messaging to communicate sexual health information and prevent sexually transmitted infections, especially among young people. The featured...
Issue Date: 04/13/11
On average, public hospitals have performed more poorly than private hospitals on four core measures involving clinical care for a heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care that are reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The gap in performance measures may...
Issue Date: 03/30/11
Nationwide, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has more than tripled in recent decades. New strategies to promote healthy weight in children include policy-level initiatives and the implementation of practice changes by providers, schools, and communities to encourage the...
Issue Date: 03/16/11
Electronic systems and devices are increasingly being used to monitor and evaluate medication-related processes such as ordering, administration, and medication reconciliation. The featured Innovations describe three programs that utilized electronic systems in various ways to improve...
Issue Date: 03/02/11
Refugees flee their homelands for many reasons, including violent conflicts, political or religious persecution, and famine. Refugees who settle in the United States often have disproportionate physical and/or mental health problems due to past traumatic experiences, refugee camp conditions, lack...
Issue Date: 02/16/11
Personal health records (PHRs) allow health care consumers to collect and maintain complete, updated health information that is easily accessible and can be shared with caregivers and health care providers. The use of PHRs can increase patients’ engagement in managing their own health care and can...
Issue Date: 02/02/11
Individuals with mental illness often relapse and are hospitalized when they don't adhere to their medications, lack supportive services, and/or abuse substances. Care coordinators play a vital role in reducing hospital readmissions by helping individuals with psychiatric conditions obtain...
Issue Date: 01/19/11
Telephone care management programs can help reduce medical costs and can lead to improved patient care, medication adherence, and patient satisfaction. The process typically involves nurses who call patients to provide education about specific medical conditions and therapeutic options, to assess...

2010

Issue Date: 12/22/10
Many workplaces offer programs for employees to support behavior change to improve their health and reduce associated health risks. Typical employee wellness activities include health fairs, health education, medical screenings, health coaching, weight management, wellness newsletters, and onsite...
Issue Date: 12/08/10
This issue’s featured Innovations were developed by organizations that are past recipients of an award from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, a public-private partnership led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Congress created the Baldrige National Quality Award...
Issue Date: 11/24/10
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders. However, individuals who could benefit from CBT may not have access to a therapist or avoid seeing a therapist due to stigma. These patients can benefit from new technologies that enable them to have...
Issue Date: 11/10/10
Childhood obesity is a significant, growing problem that has severe health consequences for our nation’s youth. According to the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President (Adobe Reader is required. Download a free copy here.), obesity has more than tripled among children...
Issue Date: 10/27/10
Senior citizens want to live independently as long as possible. However, their ability to manage daily tasks is diminished by falls, fractures, and disability associated with chronic conditions and modifiable risk factors. Home- and community-based services for seniors can improve their health...
Issue Date: 10/13/10
Inappropriate medication use, adherence problems, and medication administration errors increase the risk of adverse events and can lead to unnecessary medical costs. The use of software-based screening protocols and medication reviews by pharmacists can help identify medication problems or concerns...
Issue Date: 09/29/10
Wait times in hospital emergency departments (EDs) have increased dramatically, with implications for the health and health care of millions of people. Hospitals can use the Input/Throughput/Output Model of Patient Flow   (Adobe Reader is required to view or print the PDF. Download a...

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