Latest AHRQ funding to focus on IT, patient safety

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will fund ambulatory care and long-term care facilities to research strategies to improve patient safety through IT and other evidence-based tools.

This funding opportunity will 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.

The 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,” according to the agency's announcement.

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.

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.

Funding won't exceed $500,000 in any given year or a total of $1,500,000 for the entire project period, according to the announcement, and the project period may not exceed three years.