Andy Bindman, M.D., the agency’s director since May 2016, is leaving AHRQ as part of the presidential transition and returning to the University of California San Francisco as a primary care physician and health services researcher. Bindman’s tenure at AHRQ featured an emphasis on the learning health care system, a concept that calls for the increased use of evidence to improve the quality, safety and value of heath care. A centerpiece of that theme is AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance Initiative, a project designed to define and share the characteristics of the highest-performing health systems. Bindman’s time at AHRQ was also highlighted by the Sept. 28 AHRQ Research Summit on Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, a milestone event attended by safety experts from across the country. “I'm sad to leave such a wonderful group of colleagues but look forward to observing and finding ways to contribute to AHRQ's ongoing success from afar," Bindman said. Deputy Director Sharon Arnold, Ph.D., will serve as the Agency’s acting director. Access Bindman’s final blog post, “Bringing Moneyball to Medicine.”
“Safety Huddles” Recommended To Promote Electronic Health Record Safety
“Safety huddles” attended by hospital medical teams were shown to be an effective strategy for identifying safety concerns related to electronic health records (EHRs), according to an AHRQ study. About 250 huddles attended over a one-year period by administrative, clinical and information technology staff at a midsized tertiary-care hospital identified 245 EHR-related safety concerns. Most concerns involved "EHR technology working incorrectly" (42 percent), followed by "EHR technology not working at all" (26 percent), "EHR technology missing or absent" (17 percent) and "user errors" (16 percent). The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association recommended safety huddles for improving EHR safety improvement. Access the abstract.
Apply Now for a Summer Fellowship at AHRQ
Several positions are open for Junior Service Fellows in AHRQ’s Summer Intramural Fellowship program. Applicants should hold at least a master’s degree and have a strong interest in working with health services researchers on health care improvement initiatives. Selected fellows will work on administrative protocols, gain access to AHRQ-sponsored datasets and apply statistical analysis methods to broaden understanding of health services research. Topics for this summer’s research projects include work in quality improvement, patient safety and health care disparities. The application deadline is Feb. 10. Access additional information or send questions to Karen.Webb@ahrq.hhs.gov.
Register For Feb. 8 TeamSTEPPS® Webinar on Models for Team Collaboration
Registration is open for an AHRQ webinar on Feb. 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to highlight how various models of teamwork can be used to implement the agency’s TeamSTEPPS patient safety program. The no-cost webinar will emphasize the importance of knowing how clinical teams are organized as well as the structures’ consequences on team communication and relationships, personal and professional accountability and patient outcomes.
Registration Is Open for Webinar on New Patient Survey Questions
Registration is open for a webinar on Jan. 26 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to summarize how five new open-ended questions are now available to add to AHRQ’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. The questions provide a way for patients to tell a clear and comprehensive story about their experiences with their health care provider and staff. The questions, called the Patient Narrative Elicitation Protocol, are available for use with the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey. Webinar presenters will review the purpose of the questions, describe the development and testing process and offer recommendations for implementation. Attendees also will hear from an organization that has implemented the questions.