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New AHRQ initiative will move research into practice more quickly

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has announced funding of a coordinated set of 22 projects called Partnerships for Quality. The projects will develop partnerships among researchers, health plans, medical and nursing facilities and services, employers, consumer groups, and professional societies, including the American Medical Association and the Leapfrog Group, to test prototype activities aimed at accelerating the health system's adoption of research findings that have been shown to improve quality of care for patients.

The projects will test financial incentives and rewards to speed the adoption of recommended hospital patient safety practices; test an innovative team-oriented, practice-based continuing medical education program to improve care for patients with type 2 diabetes; build partnerships to promote cooperation in implementing quality improvement strategies in long-term care facilities; incorporate validated quality measures into the recertification of family physicians; and test other approaches to implementing tools and research findings into everyday health care.

The projects span much of the Nation and involve more than 88,000 medical providers, 5,800 hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities, and 180 health plans. Funding for fiscal year 2003 activities totals $2.4 million.

The new initiative is part of AHRQ's overall strategy to have research findings result in real improvements in the quality and outcomes of health care. The partners were selected from among applicants to AHRQ's Partnerships for Quality research solicitation published last May.

Other projects in the Partnerships for Quality initiative include those that will help community-based primary care practices adopt quality improvement models for treating heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions; create a national center for value-based purchasing methods; and test a bioterrorism simulation model with large health care networks.

Select for a list of the awards, including the organizations/institutions and principal investigators.

For more information about individual awards, select AHRQ Grants Online Database and search by the principal investigator's name.

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