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Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(1):21-23

New Web-Based Journal Provides Discussions on Patient Safety Lessons

A peer-reviewed, Web-based medical journal will showcase patient safety lessons drawn from actual cases of medical errors reported anonymously by readers, expert analysis of these cases, interactive learning modules on patient safety, and forums for online discussion on patient safety and health care quality. The Web site is posted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and an editorial team at the University of California, San Francisco. The site, which is titled AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web), will officially launch in February and is currently open for submission of cases. Every month the site will post five cases of medical errors and patient safety problems, one each in medicine, surgery/anesthesiology, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, and psychiatry, along with commentaries from distinguished experts and a forum for readers' comments. One case each month will be expanded into an interactive learning module, featuring readers' polls, quizzes, and other multimedia elements, and will offer continuing medical education credits. Authors of cases chosen for posting will receive an honorarium. To preview the site and learn how to submit cases, go online to

CDC Adds Two New Research Centers to Address Disease Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded approximately $700,000 each to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany and the University of Iowa, Iowa City, to expand research capacity for preventing chronic disease in underserved populations. The SUNY at Albany's research will involve people with diabetes in the greater Capital District of New York, which includes inner city and rural communities. The University of Iowa will address poor nutrition and lack of physical activity among residents of one rural county that will be a model for a state in which nearly 90 percent of the counties are rural. These two universities join the CDC's Prevention Research Centers program, a network of 28 academic research centers that work with communities to develop strategies for preventing disease and disability. For more information about the Prevention Research Centers Program, go online to

HHS Announces New Initiative to Increase the Nation's Blood Supply

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently announced a new blood donation initiative, “Give Thanks! Give Life! Give Twice!,” in an effort to increase the nation's blood supply reserve, which often gets as low as a two-day supply. The goals of the initiative include giving thanks to all regular volunteer blood donors and encouraging every qualified federal employee in the nation to give blood at least twice a year. Currently, 60 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, but only 5 percent are regular donors. This initiative hopes to raise the donor pool to 10 percent of the eligible population. The challenge is issued in cooperation with America's Blood Centers, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the American Red Cross, and will be part of Secretary Thompson's Gift of Life Donation Initiative.

Robert Graham, M.D., Named Acting Deputy Director of the AHRQ

Carolyn Clancy, M.D., acting director of the AHRQ, has named former American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) executive vice president Robert Graham, M.D., acting deputy director of the agency. Dr. Graham, who is currently the director of AHRQ's Center for Practice and Technology Assessment, assumes the post on Jan. 1. Lisa Simpson, M.D., is leaving her post as deputy director after six years to be the All Children's Hospital Guild Endowed Chair for the Child Health Policy at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Dr. Graham was executive vice president and chief executive officer of the AAFP from 1985 to 2000. From 1970 to 1985, he served in the HHS, holding various positions in the Health Services and Mental Health Administration, Bureau of Health Manpower, and the Health Resources Administration. He also served as the first administrator of HRSA. After leaving the AAFP, he spent a sabbatical as scholar-in-residence at the AAFP's policy center, the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Practice and Primary Care, in Washington, D.C.

HRSA Study Finds Many Children Not Receiving Enough Health Visits

Results of a new study by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) find that a substantial number of children in the United States are not receiving the professionally recommended number of preventive health and dental care visits. Researchers used results of the 1999 National Survey of America's Families, which included 35,938 children younger than 18 years, to examine sociodemographic and economic factors associated with children who made well-child and dental visits during 1998. The researchers used as a guide the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that children ages three to 18 years should make one well-child visit to a physician each year, skipping annual visits at ages seven and nine, and of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and HRSA's Bright Futures guidelines, that parents take children to the dentist twice annually. The study findings showed that in 1998 more than 23 percent of children did not receive the AAP's recommended number of well-child visits and that nearly one half of the children did not receive the AAPD's recommended two annual dental visits. The study, “Factors That Influence Receipt of Recommended Preventive Pediatric Health and Dental Care,” was conducted by HRSA epidemiologists Stella Yu, Sc.D. and Michael Kogan, Ph.D., researchers from the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center, Washington, D.C., and the University of California, Los Angeles, and published in the December 2002 issue of Pediatrics.

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