May 2005 RAND Health Newsletter

Contents of May 2005 RAND Health newsletter:

  1. Improving patient safety in the U.S. health care system
    The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a mandate to help health care providers reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. To achieve these goals, AHRQ should create a national patient safety data repository, try to balance research and adoption activities, and more.

    Citation: Assessment of the National Patient Safety Initiative: Context and Baseline Evaluation Report 1, Farley D, Morton SC, Damberg C, Fremont AM, Berry SH, Greenberg MD, Sorbero M, Teleki SS, Ricci K, Pollock N. TR-203-AHRQ , 2005, full document

    More on quality of care research

  2. Are African Americans less willing to use health care?
    In accounting for treatment disparities, prior research has assumed that African Americans are less predisposed to seek treatment or are more skeptical of the care they receive. A recent study finds the opposite to be true.

    Citation: Are African Americans Really Less Willing to Use Health Care? Schnittker J, Pescosolido BA, Croghan TW, Social Problems, Vol. 52, No. 2, May 2005, pp. 255-271, abstract

    More on socio-demographic determinants of health research

  3. Building community capacity to improve community health
    A new model of research—one based on Community Science—can help build community capacity and improve prevention quality. This article describes the model and suggests a research agenda that can lead to improved outcomes at the local level.

    Citation: Developing a Community Science Research Agenda for Building Community Capacity for Effective Preventive Interventions, Chinman M, Hannah G, Wandersman A, Ebener P, Hunter SB, Imm P, Sheldon, American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 35, Nos. 3/4, June 2005, pp. 143-157, full document available at

    More about community health research

  4. Cost of an emergency room visit higher than generally believed
    How and when to deliver non-urgent care in an emergency department merits careful review. Hospital administrators need to pay greater attention to improving cost measurement and management, and large payers such as Medicare need to reexamine how they set prices to ensure that the price properly compensates hospitals for their services.

    Citation: The Cost of an Emergency Department Visit and Its Relationship to Emergency Department Volume, Bamezai A, Melnick G, Nawathe A, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 45, No. 5, May 2005, pp. 483-490, full document at

  5. RAND Health HIV study wins award
    A pioneering study based on the first national probability sample of HIV adult patients receiving medical care in the United States has been awarded the 2005 Policy Impact Award by the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

    News release | More on the study

  6. May RAND Health Congressional Newsletter
    This month's newsletter features recent research on military health benefits, including pharmacy benefits for military retirees, how the VA allocates health care dollars, and how the military health system might be reorganized. (PDF file)


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