AHRQ Funds Target Research, IT Tools to Improve Patient Safety

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is making millions of dollars available for ambulatory care and long-term care facilities to research strategies to improve patient safety through information technology and other evidence-based tools.

The purpose of the new funding opportunity announcement is to support investigative research projects that examine the epidemiology of patient safety in these environments, gather evidence on strategies that can improve safety and develop tools to implement the strategies, according to AHRQ.

The total amount of funding and number of awards are contingent on AHRQ appropriations and submission of sufficient “meritorious” applications.

“As applicable, work should include a focus on issues that are relevant to underserved and vulnerable populations which include Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, safety-net hospital outpatient departments, physician offices and long-term care facilities,” the agency notes in the announcement.

Further, the project has a specific research focus on understanding and eliminating disparities in patient and resident safety. Long-term care facilities under this funding opportunity include nursing homes, assisted living homes, residential care homes and home care.

Also See: AHRQ Tool Gives Access to Hospital Discharge Data

Specific areas of interest include incident studies of medical errors and subsequent adverse events in different types of ambulatory care; human, system and other factors that contribute to errors; and evidence-based studies of intervention strategies. Research may include new or existing technologies to aid in preventing adverse events including use of electronic health records to improve prevention, as well as use of current “low technology” approaches that provide new tools.

While recognizing data sharing plans among recipients will vary, AHRQ invites applicants to describe such plans in detail.

“The total costs (direct and indirect) for a project awarded under this FOA will not exceed $500,000 in any given year and will not exceed $1,500,000 for the entire project period,” according to the announcement. “The project period may not exceed 3 years.”

The funding does not require cost sharing by recipients, but they are welcome to devote additional resources to selected projects. More information is available here.

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