Healthcare Business News

AHRQ awards $34 million for projects targeting HAIs

By Maureen McKinney
Posted: November 2, 2011 - 5:00 pm ET

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded $34 million for projects that address healthcare-associated infections.

Several of AHRQ's newly funded projects for fiscal 2011 expand the use of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Protocol, or CUSP, an infection-prevention program created by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Quality and Safety Research Group, Baltimore. CUSP was used in a well-known initiative in Michigan targeting central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive-care units.

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AHRQ has led a national rollout of the CUSP program aimed at reducing central line infections, and these latest funding awards extend the protocols, which include checklists, to other types of infections, including catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical-site infections, according to a news release.

“Infections are not an inevitable consequence of healthcare; they are preventable,” said AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy, in the release. “With this investment, we are building on proven strategies to give doctors and healthcare teams the help they need to ensure that patients are safe from infections.”

AHRQ also awarded funds for other projects, including one that targets methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, and another that explores how healthcare facility design affects infection acquisition and prevention.

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