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AHRQ to Grant $5M for Big Data Patient Safety Learning Labs

The AHRQ will grant up to $5 million to support efforts to use big data analytics to improve patient safety and clinical diagnostics.

AHRQ grants $5 million for big data patient safety labs

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) plans to spend up to $5 million to fund the creation and utilization of patient safety learning laboratories that leverage big data analytics to improve clinical care.

The organization is seeking up to eight teams who will use their healthcare expertise to engage with those in design and engineering disciplines. Together, these teams will develop diagnostic and patient safety projects.

“Such teams increase the likelihood of becoming truly transdisciplinary and generating innovative designs that have the potential to alter the status quo and shape a safer future rather than simply adding a new safety practice on top of the existing system,” AHRQ states.

Although AHRQ acknowledges that the industry has made great strides in improving patient safety, they note that more work still needs to be done.

“Much of the progress has occurred at well-resourced and culturally receptive institutions. Further efforts are needed for improvements to be more widespread and better integrated into the fabric and structure of clinical work nationwide,” they say.

Applicants must choose an area of diagnosis or treatment upon which to focus. They will develop solution prototypes that will undergo repeated testing, revision and integration as a working system. The efficacy of the working system will then be evaluated in a simulated or clinical setting.

AHRQ requires that applicants utilize a five-phase methodology, consisting of problem analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation, to provide some sort of structure and design of the type of projects that will be undertaken.

“Following a systems engineering methodology, the learning laboratories stretch professional boundaries, envision innovative designs, and take advantage of brainstorming and rapid prototyping techniques that other leading industries employ,” AHRQ states.

AHRQ also requires applicants to include a description of the techniques that could be used to best show the impact of their proposed research aims.

AHRQ will begin accepting applications on January 25, 2018. Applications are due March 26, 2018 at 5:00 PM. Application budgets are limited to $625,000 total costs. For more information and to apply, click here.

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