Improving the quality of care, reducing health care-associated infections, and building momentum for patient safety initiatives are on the program.

AHRQ Conference Tackling Health Care's Biggest Issues

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2010 conference in Bethesda, Md., has the theme "Changing Care, Changing Lives: Delivering on Quality for All Americans." Improving the quality of care, reducing health care-associated infections, and building momentum for patient safety are on the program.

Education in five tracks is on the schedule for the fourth annual conference of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, with AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., saying in her welcoming message that the meeting comes at a pivotal moment. "We are in a period of dramatic and exciting change in health care -– a period in which there is an acute need for information about what works best to improve quality and access as we gain a better understanding of how we anticipate the challenges of tomorrow," Clancy says. "In this age of opportunity, the fourth AHRQ Annual Conference, September 26-29, 2010, will bring together both the users and producers of the information needed to improve health and health care. It will be a forum where professionals who are positioned to influence the delivery of health care can have open and frank discussions on the issues." Clancy, a general internist and health services researcher, joined AHRQ in 1990.

The tracks are: Transforming Health Care Delivery, Developing New Patient Care Models, Strengthening Preventive Care and Reducing Health Disparities, Improving Quality and Patient Safety, and Measuring and Reporting on Provider and System Performance.

Reducing waste, improving the quality of care, reducing health care-associated infections, engaging stakeholders, and building momentum for patient safety initiatives after year one are some of the topics addressed by presentations on the agenda. Session 47 on Sept. 28, for example, is titled "Emergency Preparedness: Is Valid Measurement Hopeless?" and its description asks whether the current approach of self-reported emergency preparedness planning capabilities actually predicts adequate emergency response.

Registration is already open for the free event, which will take place at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

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