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Journal Article > Study
Li P, Schneider JE, Ward MM. Health Serv Res. 2007;42:2089-2108.
Journal Article > Commentary
Volpp KG, Landrigan CP. JAMA. 2008;300:1197-1199.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's 2003 regulations limiting housestaff duty hours have generated an expansive field of research into their impact on fatigue, workload, clinical outcomes, and patient safety. This commentary aims to put the current research into a practical context and provides eight priorities that should guide teaching institutions in their efforts to balance both physician and patient safety. The authors highlight alternative staffing models (e.g., no more 24-hour shifts), improved sign-out procedures, greater monitoring and evaluation of duty hour changes, the importance of adequate supervision and workload intensity, and better designed financial incentives to promote successful policy change. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has sponsored an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee to review the important research and related issues around work hour restrictions.
Journal Article > Study
Bazzoli GJ, Chen HF, Zhao M, Lindrooth RC. Health Econ. 2008;17:977-995.
This AHRQ-funded study conducted a detailed economic analysis of acute care hospitals in 11 states and their reported quality and safety of care measures. While unlike a prior study of Florida hospitals, this study found no significant relationship between financial performance and quality of care, the authors highlight a number of important policy implications. They advocate for continued efforts to monitor the quality and safety of care delivered, particularly in hospitals with poor financial performance that are likely to opt out of voluntary reporting to avoid the costs associated with data collection. They also express concern about the impact of pay-for-performance programs that may further limit hospitals with poor financial status from making necessary improvements and investments in care.
Grant > Government Resource
AHRQ Risk-informed Intervention Development and Implementation of Safe Practices in Ambulatory Care.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2008.
This AHRQ grantee announcement lists 13 projects funded to demonstrate effective strategies in identifying and addressing risks and in improving processes in ambulatory care.
Levinson DR. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; December 2008. Report No. OEI-06-07-00470.
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 mandated that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report to Congress the incidence of "never events" among Medicare beneficiaries, payment by Medicare for services in connection with such events, and the process used to identify events and deny payments. This report addresses that mandate by providing a descriptive analysis of the key issues to understanding hospital-based adverse events. The report is focused around discussion of seven critical issues that are explored in detail. Of note, OIG expanded the study of never events to the broader topic of adverse events in their analysis.
Journal Article > Study
Lee GM, Kleinman K, Soumerai SB, et al. N Engl J Med. 2012;367:1428-1437.
In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminated reimbursement for certain preventable errors and hospital-acquired infections. This landmark policy aimed to align financial disincentives with adverse events, an increasingly utilized strategy. However, this AHRQ-funded study found that the "no pay for errors" policy had no measurable effect on rates of catheter–associated bloodstream infections and catheter–associated urinary tract infections in hospitals in the United States. No subgroup of hospitals or patients identified in this national evaluation seemed to clearly benefit from this policy change. The benefits and limitations of the CMS policy are discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M interview with Dr. Robert Wachter.
Tools/Toolkit > Fact Sheet/FAQs
Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Public Affairs; January 07, 2011.
This fact sheet highlights key points of a government effort to link performance on quality with select AHRQ patient safety indicators to raise Medicare reimbursement. The opportunity for submitting comments has passed.
Web Resource > Government Resource
Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services.
Launched in 2011, the Partnership for Patients plans to invest approximately $1 billion total in an effort to decrease preventable harm in United States hospitals. Its emphasis on partnerships (between government, provider organizations, payers, and patients) echoes certain Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) campaigns, developed by Medicare director Dr. Donald Berwick while he led IHI. The Partnership focuses on skill building, demonstration projects, and collaboratives. Through 2019, the Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks will work to achieve a 20% decrease in overall patient harm and a 12% reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure from the 2014 baseline. In September 2015, the program awarded $110 million to 17 national, regional, or state hospital associations and health system organizations. CMS estimates that 2.1 million fewer patients were harmed and nearly $20 in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2014. Medicare hopes these recent monetary awards will continue to drive this momentum on improving patient safety.