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AHRQ issues RFA for challenge grants on safe practices

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 five to ten safe practices implementation challenge grants. The grants are intended to assess safety risks to patients and devise ways to prevent them and to implement safe practices that show evidence of eliminating or reducing known hazards to patient safety when providing care.

These grants build on AHRQ's portfolio of patient safety research and dissemination, which represents an investment of $165 million since fiscal year 2001. The projects funded under this Request for Applications (RFA) 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 these cooperative agreements. 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 in this area can be for up to $200,000 for as long as 12 months. 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 as long as 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 comprises 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 more information on this RFA, go to the April 4, 2003, NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts.

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 him at for details.

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