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Press Release Date: November 14, 2006
HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded more than $5 million for 19 new grants under its "Improving Patient Safety Through Simulation Research" request for applications. The projects focus on assessing and evaluating the roles that simulation can play to improve the safe delivery of quality health care.
The Institute of Medicine estimated that medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death among Americans. Medical simulation involves scenarios in which real-life medical situations are re-created so that health care providers can practice new procedures and techniques before performing them on patients and potentially placing them at risk. These projects will inform providers, health educators, payers, policy makers, patients, and the public about the effective use of simulation in preventing medical errors and improving patient safety.
"Building on AHRQ's patient safety investment, these simulation grants will enable health care teams to implement and evaluate innovative interventions in a safe environment," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
The simulation projects focus on a range of interventions that can contribute to a safer health care environment, including effective communication among members of the health care team, disclosure of medical errors to patients and their families, the effects of implementing health information technology, and patient handoffs and transitions within hospitals. Several projects focus on teamwork in high-risk settings such as emergency departments, labor and delivery units, and intensive care units. These projects will have an immediate and long-term impact by accelerating the implementation of new simulation tools to improve patient safety.
The projects span a wide spectrum of settings and populations, in 16 states throughout the United States, including Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas. For a complete listing of the 19 projects, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/simulproj.htm
For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1906 or (301) 427-1865.