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Request for Proposals
Solicitation No. AHRQ-01-0011 (Full and Open Competition, with recommended
small business goals)
Proposal Due Date Extended: April 17, 2001, 1:00 p.m. Local Time
Contracting Office: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Division of
Contracts Management, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601, Rockville, MD
The synopsis for this requirement was published in the Commerce Business
Daily on February 6, 2001. The solicitation issue date is February 21, 2001.
Full text can be downloaded; select to access Downloading
Information. Printed copies are not available. If you have any trouble
downloading this solicitation, please contact Sharon Williams, Contracting
Officer, at SWilliam@ahrq.gov.
It is anticipated that a completion-type award will be made under this
solicitation for a two-year period, with one option year.
Background and Purpose
A recent Institute of Medicine report (To Err is Human,
Building a Safer Health System), noted medical errors as a significant
source of excess morbidity, mortality, and costs. The report estimates that
between 44,000 and 98,000 people die annually as a result of medical error.
Costs associated with medical error are estimated to be between $17 billion and
$29 billion annually with one half of these costs attributable to health care
As part of its reauthorization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality is required to reduce errors in medicine by:
- Identifying the causes of preventable health care errors and
patient injury in health care delivery.
- Developing, demonstrating, and evaluating strategies for reducing
errors and improving patient safety.
- Disseminating such effective strategies throughout the health care
In carrying out these responsibilities, the Agency has developed a
coordinated plan for achieving these three goals that includes projects funded
through both grant and contract mechanisms.
Through morbidity and mortality conferences, hospitals and medical schools
have a rich tradition of clinicians critically appraising their performance in
an attempt to learn from their mistakes. While these discussions are considered
open to each institution's medical practitioners (i.e., staff and trainees), the
discussion and lessons learned are not shared outside the institutional walls
because of concerns about liability and patient confidentiality. This limitation
severely constrains opportunities for learning within the overall medical
community and subjects patients and practitioners alike to unnecessary and
Health care is in need of a mechanism to promote widespread practitioner
learning and to minimize patient exposure to risk. Some health care systems have
developed programs to share experiences with errors that result in adverse
events as well as those that are "near misses," e.g., the Veterans Health
Administration. Some systems exist to share information regarding pharmaceutical
use. However, there is no broad-based, general system by which clinicians may
share their experiences with "near misses."
This project expands upon the Agency's activities to reduce error and improve
the delivery of safe health care. It complements a series of solicitations that
form an integrated set of activities to design and test best practices for
reducing errors in multiple settings of care, develop the science base to inform
these efforts, improve provider education to reduce errors, capitalize on the
advances in information technology to translate proven effective strategies into
widespread practice, and build the capacity to further reduce errors. In
particular, this procurement complements the Patient Safety Research
Dissemination and Education activities planned to fund researchers and
organizations (e.g. professional associations, hospital groups, national
organizations) to develop, demonstrate, and evaluate new approaches to improving
provider education in order to reduce errors, such as using new knowledge on
patient safety and to develop curricula, continuing education, simulation
models, and other provider training strategies.
This project is an initial, focused effort that builds upon traditional,
physician-operated morbidity and mortality conferences. The project's end
products are intended to be used by physician trainees as well as practicing
physicians. Based on the success of this project, the Agency may consider
broadening its efforts to include similar activities for other disciplines
The contract objectives are to:
- Develop, test, implement, and assess a national, Web-based,
blame-free learning program for providers of health care that relies on
reports of "near misses" and is modeled after and functions like hospital
morbidity and mortality conferences.
- Advance learning from "near misses."
- Improve patient safety by reducing the risk for "near misses."
Shift-click from this Web page: Your browser may support downloading
the RFP and Amendment from this Web page. To download the RFP from this Web
page, click on the following links with the right mouse button and select "Save
Link As" (Netscape) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). The RFP is
available as WordPerfect® and PDF Files:
- Develop, Implement, Maintain, and Assess a National Electronic Web-Based
Morbidity and Mortality Conference Site: Request for Proposals (WordPerfect®
file, 377 KB; PDF File,
- Amendment 1-Questions and Answers; Changes to Statement of Work, Delivery
Schedule, and Proposal Due Date (WordPerfect®
file, 113 KB; PDF File,
PDF Files require the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™, which you can download free
Current as of March 2001