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AHRQ To Support Challenge Grants To Assess Risks to Patients and Implement Safe Practices

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Press Release Date: April 8, 2003

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is seeking applications from for-profit and non-profit organizations—including universities, clinics, hospitals, faith-based organizations, and state and local government agencies—to fund 5 to 10 Safe Practices Implementation Challenge Grants. The grants are intended to assess patient safety risks to patients and devise ways to prevent them, as well as to implement safe practices that show evidence of eliminating or reducing known hazards to patient safety when providing care.

These grants build on the Agency's portfolio of patient safety research and dissemination, which includes an investment of $165 million since FY 2001. The projects funded under this Request for Applications will help health care institutions assess risks and implement patient safety practices, including research findings and tools developed through the Agency's patient safety research.

The Agency expects to award up to $3 million to support the two types of projects, with approximately half the grant awards to be funded in each category. The Agency will provide up to 50 percent of the total cost of the projects under this cooperative agreement. Grant recipients will be required to provide a minimum of 50 percent of the total costs.

The Agency is interested in risk assessment applications from organizations that are in the process of identifying risk areas. Grants can be for up to $200,000 for up to 12 months for these projects. Grants for safe practice implementation projects from organizations that have identified a risk to be addressed by the safe practice, developed an implementation plan, and provided an evaluation plan to determine whether the safe practice was successful, can be for up to $500,000 per year for up to 24 months.

The Agency has announced this cooperative agreement in collaboration with the Patient Safety Task Force established by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in 2001 to coordinate research efforts across the Department. The Task Force is comprised of AHRQ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration.

Letters of intent are due June 16, 2003; applications are due July 15, 2003. For additional information on this RFA, go to the April 4, 2003, NIH Guide at In addition, a special technical assistance workshop and conference call is scheduled for June 12, 2003, at AHRQ's offices; call James Battles in the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at (301) 427-1332 or E-mail for details.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (


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