AIR Experts to Discuss Health Care Issues at the Annual Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Conference

Washington, D.C. – Experts in health policy research at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will participate in discussions ranging from making health care more consumer focused to reducing health care-associated infections during the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) annual conference, being held September 9-11, 2012 in Bethesda, M.D.

The conference, focused around the theme of “Moving Ahead: Leveraging Knowledge and Action to Improve Health Care Quality,” will focus on the results of user-driven health care research that may help solve some of the challenges in the health care system.

Presentations include a plenary session on September 11 in which AIR’s Kristin Carman will take part in a panel discussion on making healthcare more reliable, patient-centered, and safe, as well as sessions on consumer assessment of healthcare providers; public deliberation and policy decisions; and challenges faced when implementing and sustaining healthcare-associated infections reduction activities in long-term care.

AIR presentations include:

Monday, September 10

Session Title: Engaging the Public on the Use of Evidence: The Role of Public Deliberation
Session Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Session Track: Promoting Effective Communication and Coordination of Care
Session Description: Public deliberation convenes members of the public or of a specific community to learn about and discuss a complex societal issue. The purpose of public deliberation is to learn from the participants and ultimately to make policy decisions that reflect their views. The AHRQ Community Forum project seeks to expand the evidence base around public deliberation and elicit informed public input on an issue highly relevant to AHRQ’s Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) enterprise: how the public believes evidence should be used in health care decision-making. This session will introduce participants to public deliberation and describe the Community Forum Deliberative Methods experiment, which will convene 76 groups spanning four locations. Speakers will highlight best practices for promoting successful public deliberation.

AIR Presenters: Kristin Carman and Maureen Maurer

Session Title: Using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Surveys to Monitor the Quality of Cancer Care
Session Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Session Track: Ensuring That Each Person and Family Are Partners in Their Care
Session Description: This session will describe two Federal government efforts, the SEER-CAHPS data resource and cancer CAHPS, to facilitate the systematic measurement and monitoring of the quality of cancer care from the patient’s perspective. The SEER-CAHPS data resource is an NCI-CMS collaborative project linking NCI’s SEER data with annual CAHPS survey data of beneficiaries in managed care plans and in Medicare fee-for-service (FFS). Linking SEER data with CAHPS data as well as Medicare claims data for fee-for-service beneficiaries facilitates the evaluation of care experiences of elderly patients with and without cancer as well as its prevention. This presentation will describe the richness of the linked data and highlight potential research questions that can be addressed.

AIR Presenter: Steven Garfinkel

Session Title: Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) in Long-Term Care (LTC): Current Strategies and Challenges
Session Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Session Track: Making Care Safer by Reducing Harm Caused in the Delivery of Care
Session Description: This session will consist of a roundtable discussion about overcoming the challenges faced when implementing and sustaining healthcare-associated infections reduction activities in long-term care. Topics that will be presented include data and electronic health records, communication, staffing, and education and training.

AIR Presenter: Steven Garfinkel

Tuesday, September 11

Session Title: Implementation, Engagement, and Use: Making Health Care More Patient-Centered, Reliable, and Safe
Session Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Plenary Session)
Session Description: The time for action is now - pressure to deliver health care services as efficiently and effectively as possible continues to grow. There are many initiatives in place to serve as blueprints to success for stakeholders across the country. This session will feature Reed Tuckson, M.D., FACP, Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs, UnitedHealth Group, in a discussion with Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, about what can be done to encourage widespread implementation and use of the increasing body of evidence-based and proven resources. In addition, Dr. Clancy and Dr. Tuckson will be joined by Joseph Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H., from Massachusetts General Hospital, Kristin Carman, Ph.D., M.A., from the American Institutes for Research, and Pamela Hyde, J.D., administrator of the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, who will serve as panelists and add to the conversation based on their unique perspectives.

AIR Presenter: Kristin Carman

More information about the conference may be found at 

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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