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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Health Technology Assessment

Evidence-based Practice Technical Reviews
Technology Assessments

Research Findings

Research Activities, May 2008:
Researchers examine the relationship of workarounds to technology implementation and medication safety in nursing homes
CT angiographic source images detect stroke better than nonenhanced CT scans
Nurses can facilitate quality improvement in primary care practices with electronic medical records
Managing knowledge in family practices takes more than technology
Physician residents use personal digital assistants most for drug references and medical calculations

Research Activities, March 2008:
Simulation improves caregivers' performance but whether it improves patient outcomes is still uncertain
Studies examine emergency communication, use of defibrillators, and benefit of ED pharmacists
Rural emergency departments have a high rate of medication errors with the potential to harm children

Research Activities, February 2008:
Financial incentives to physicians and long-term care facilities may foster adoption of computerized drug systems
Observational videos can identify ways to improve emergency endotracheal intubation

Research Activities, January 2008:
A computer-based intravenous protocol can improve glycemic control in surgical ICU patients
Studies examine pharmacy workload and medication errors and cost savings of hospital barcode medication systems

Research Activities, December 2007:
A pharmacy alert system plus physician-pharmacist collaboration can reduce inappropriate drug prescribing among elderly outpatients
Use of simple clinical information systems can improve outcomes of patients with diabetes

Research Activities, November 2007:
Studies explore the use and functions of electronic health records
Implementing a basic electronic prescribing system may reduce nonclinical prescribing errors
Electronic data collection can greatly improve recruitment of primary care patients into clinical trials

Research Activities, October 2007:
Studies funded by AHRQ's Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) identify ways to improve patient care and report medical errors

Research Activities, September 2007:
Computerized drug-drug interaction alerts are useful, but can be improved

Research Activities, August 2007:
Changes in workflow and tasks need to be assessed when introducing bar code medication administration into nurses' work

Research Activities, March 2007:
Stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus of the brain improves quality of life for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease
Specific primary care office systems and quality improvement strategies may substantially affect the cost of diabetes care
A color-coded tape helps EMTs calculate the correct epinephrine dose for children in cardiopulmonary arrest

Research Activities, November 2006:
Providing free blood glucose monitors to patients with diabetes initially encourages self-management, especially among blacks
Computerized drug alerts when ordering medications reduce inappropriate prescribing for the elderly
"Off-pump" bypass surgery is associated with reduced occurrence of stroke and other complications
Pay-for-performance incentives were adopted by half of U.S. HMOs, but their use depends on health plan type and physician payment arrangements

Research Activities, August 2006:
Studies examine use of computed tomography and risk of rupture in acute appendicitis

Research Activities, June 2006:
National survey of community pharmacies examines workload, available technology, and perceptions of drug alert systems
Clinical criteria can identify children with blunt head trauma who are unlikely to need CT scans

Research Activities, October 2005:
Study investigates PDA software applications that can optimize medication safety
Computerized guidelines for reactive airway disease do not affect care delivery or outcomes

Research Activities, September 2005:
Computerized guidelines for psychotropic drug use can improve prescribing and reduce falls among hospitalized elderly patients
Decision support systems that minimize clinicians' efforts to receive and act on system recommendations can improve care
Adoption rates of electronic health records are low among physician groups

Research Activities, August 2005:
Decision support systems that minimize clinicians' efforts to receive and act on system recommendations can improve care

Research Activities, July 2005:
Radiologists with more experience reading mammograms aren't necessarily more accurate in interpreting them
Some care disparities among blacks may be due to low technology use in hospitals that treat mostly black patients

Research Activities, April 2005:
SPECT imaging with Tc-99m sestamibi can improve ED triage of diabetes patients with suspected cardiac ischemia
Smart intravenous infusion systems have the potential to reduce serious medication errors in ICUs

Research Activities, March 2005:
New study on computerized order entry finds flaws that could lead to errors, but there are opportunities for improvement
Computerized standing orders can increase rates of flu and pneumonia vaccination of hospital patients
Enhanced CT performs better than unenhanced CT in predicting extent of damaged brain tissue in acute stroke patients

Research Activities, February 2005:
Computed tomography may be more accurate than ultrasound for diagnosing appendicitis in adults and adolescents
Physicians often change their clinical decisions about management of cancer patients based on results of PET scans
Immediate postoperative ECG helps identify non-cardiac surgery patients at risk for cardiac complications
Organizational research can help clinicians make decisions about staff and IT systems

Research Activities, October 2004:
Use of mechanical ventilation in adult noncardiac surgery patients increased in Ontario during the 1990s

Research Activities, September 2004:
Only 9 percent of children with out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest survive, despite prolonged CPR and epinephrine

Research Activities, June 2004:
Study findings suggest that invasive prenatal diagnostic testing should be offered to all women

Research Activities, April 2004:
Physicians should give patients with kidney failure more information about the option of peritoneal dialysis
Medicare drug benefit bill will increase physicians' exposure to drug formularies

Research Activities, January 2004:
Greater deployment of automated external defibrillators at select public locations is likely to be cost effective

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