Infection-Prevention Named a Top HHS Priority
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking proposals to conduct health services research demonstration and dissemination (R18) projects that address the prevention, reduction, and effective management of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Applications are due January 25, May 25, and September 25 through September 26, 2015.
HAIs, defined as infections acquired in a healthcare setting when a patient is receiving treatment for another condition, are a significant cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) identified HAI prevention as a top priority and published the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infectionsin 2009. Since then, AHRQ and other HHS agencies have funded initiatives in all of the settings identified in the plan, focusing first on acute care hospitals and then on ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, and efforts to increase influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel.
Now in its third phase, the plan is emphasizing HAIs in long-term care facilities such as skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. The HHS Office of Healthcare Quality is seeking comments on the draft long-term care facilities chapter of the plan by August 22, 2012. Submit responses to OHQ@hhs.gov.
Meanwhile, AHRQ intends to continue supporting research and demonstration projects that address ways to prevent and more effectively manage HAIs and promote the wide-scale adoption of evidence-based approaches. Applicants are encouraged to review summaries of AHRQ-funded HAI projects from FY 11, FY 10, and FY 09.
~ Phyllis E. Johnson, Vice President for Research & Economic Development, University of North Dakota