NPSF Research Awards further patient safety

November 29, 1999

Chicago IL -- The National Patient Safety Foundation announced today the winners of the 1999 NPSF Research Awards. Selected from many worthwhile applications, four grants were awarded for projects focused on patient safety. Award amounts vary with winners receiving up to $100,000.

NPSF Board Member and Research Program Chair Jeffrey Cooper, PhD said, "We're pleased to be able to support these important research projects that will provide the understanding and learning that we can all benefit from in our quest to improve patient safety."

One of the grants was awarded in the memory of James S. Todd, MD, an Executive Vice President of the American Medical Association (AMA), who was instrumental in developing and launching the NPSF. The four grant winners are:

"Improving Patient Safety in Cardiac Surgery via Prospective Use of the Cumulative Sum (CUSUM) Failure Method". This project is the recipient of the James S. Todd Memorial Award for Patient Safety Research. This study will analyze the learning curves of new surgical consultants and surgeons engaged in minimally invasive surgery, and incorporate cumulative sum failure analyses into standard methods of surgical audit to improve patient safety and outcomes. The principal investigator is Richard J. Novick, MD, Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada.

"Pediatric Sedation: a Safety and Efficacy Problem for Children Requiring Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures in the Hospital Setting; A Human Factors Opportunity for Improvement". The goal of this research is to develop safer and more effective pediatric sedation strategies. Investigators hope to fundamentally change how medical practitioners traditionally view the concepts of drug efficacy, drug toxicity, and therapeutic index, and widen this view to encompass practitioner expertise, medical technology, environmental factors and patient demands. The principal investigator is George T. Blike, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

"Understanding and Improving Error Detection and Recovery in Simulated Acute Care Settings: Fixation vs. Adaptability". Using simulation and debriefing techniques, the goal of this research is to help medical trainees understand and transcend their internal barriers in identifying, discussing and recovering from error. The project will be led by William R. Torbert, PhD, Professor of Management, and Jenny Rudolph, PhD Candidate, Wallace E. Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA.

"Serious Medication Errors: Evaluation of Prevention Strategies in Pediatrics". This project will study the effectiveness of two interventions to reduce medical errors and adverse events, clinical pharmacist involvement on the wards plus multi-disciplinary quality improvement, and computerized physician order entry on the rate of serious medication errors at two academic pediatric institutions. The principal investigator is Donald Goldmann, MD, Medical Director of Quality Improvement, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

This is the second year the NPSF has awarded research grants for projects focused on improving patient safety. Four awards were given in 1998, with promising work underway to study name confusion errors and electronic decision support for error reduction among the various projects.
The National Patient Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to the measurable improvement of patient safety in the delivery of health care. The NPSF was founded in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M. Other major benefactors include Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals. The NPSF has formed a unique partnership of health care clinicians, institutional providers, health product manufacturers, researchers, legal advisors, consumer advocates, regulators, and policy makers among its board of directors. Working collaboratively with its broad base of constituents, the NPSF is leading the patient safety movement by raising awareness, building a knowledge base, creating a forum for sharing knowledge, and facilitating the implementation of practices that improve patient safety.

For more information about the NPSF's Research Program, visit our website at . The submission process for 2000 awards will be announced in January.

National Patient Safety Foundation

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