AHRQ Reports Find Cardiac Care Is Improving But Quality and Access Still Lag for Many Americans
Cardiac care is showing significant improvement in the United States, according to AHRQ’s 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. Gains were seen in reduced hospital admissions for congestive heart failure, fewer hospital deaths due to heart attack, and improved timeliness by hospitals to provide angioplasty to heart attack patients. The reports, mandated by Congress since 2003, show that racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular care were less common than disparities in care for other conditions. However, overall health care quality continues to improve at a slow rate (2.5 percent), and quality and access to care are lacking for many Americans because of disparities based on race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors. New features in the 2011 reports include data on the adoption of electronic health record systems in hospitals as well as home health and hospice agencies. The reports show that only 12 percent of hospitals had fully implemented an electronic system that supports clinical documentation including patient demographics, physician and nursing notes, medication and problem lists, advance directives and discharge summaries. Select to access the reports. AHRQ also offers an online query system that allows access to national and state data on health care quality.
2011 National Healthcare Disparities and Quality Reports
2011 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities ReportsFor the ninth year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. New this year are chapters on care coordination, health system infrastructure. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care.
The National Healthcare Quality Report tracks the health care system through quality measures, such as the percentage of heart attack patients who received recommended care when they reached the hospital or the percentage of children who received recommended vaccinations. The National Healthcare Disparities Report summarizes health care quality and access among various racial, ethnic, and income groups and other priority populations, such as residents of rural areas and people with disabilities.
Print versions of the reports will be available in late April or early May. Users needing assistance should contact Doreen Bonnett at (301) 427-1899 or Doreen.Bonnett@ahrq.hhs.gov.
Select for Previous and Related Reports.
Previous ReportsSelect to access NHQR/DRs for 2010, 2009, and 2008.
Archived ReportsThe National Quality and Disparities Reports for 2003-07 have been archived. Select to access NHQR/DRs 2007; NHQR: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003; NHDR: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.