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NPSF Awards Research Grants Focusing on Critical Care Nursing and Home Health Care

Wednesday, May 9, 2012   (0 Comments)
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Grant Award Recipients from Johns Hopkins University and University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

BOSTON, MA (May 9, 2012) – The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) today announced that it has awarded a total of $200,000 in grants for two innovative patient safety research projects. The grants are awarded through the NPSF Research Grants Program, which promotes studies leading to the prevention of human errors, system errors, patient injuries, and their consequences.

Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, FAAN
Principal investigator Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System Endowed Chair in Nursing Science and professor of nursing, critical care medicine, and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, received the NPSF Board Research Grant in the amount of $100,000 for her study, “Management of Distractions and Interruptions During Nursing Care in the ICU.”

Prior research suggests that while distractions and interruptions in clinical settings are perhaps unavoidable, some such interruptions may actually be beneficial, and the key to maintaining a safe patient environment may be in adequately managing distractions. Dr. Happ’s project will utilize existing video recorded observations of bedside care in two intensive care units and a qualitative follow-up study consisting of real-time, semi-structured observations and nurse focus groups. The goals are to provide understanding of distractions and interruptions at the bedside; identify strategies for preventing and managing interruptions; and provide evidence to support the development of programs to help clinicians manage disruptions.

“Distractions and interruptions pose increasing threats to cognitive processing and safe, error-free patient care in critical care settings,” said Dr. Happ. “We aim to provide a more complete picture of the purpose and content of distractions and how they can be managed.”

The NPSF Board Research Grant is supported in part by generous contributions from NPSF board members.

Alicia I. Arbaje, MD, MPH
Principal investigator Alicia I. Arbaje, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of transitional care research in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University received the NPSF Research Grant in the amount of $100,000 for her project, “Identification and Validation of Risks to Patient Safety During Care Transitions of Older Adults Receiving Skilled Home Healthcare Services After Hospital Discharge.” This project seeks to identify factors that put seniors at risk after they leave the hospital for home and while they are under the care of skilled home health care workers. The study will look at a variety of parameters (for example, clinician and patient behaviors; home environment; technology; tools and tasks) and use direct observations of home health care intake as well as semi-structured interviews with patients, caregivers, and administrative staff to identify risks.

A secondary goal of the project is to develop and test an “index” of characteristics that will help home health care agencies identify older adults at increased risk in order to provide intervention during care transitions.

“Older adults who require skilled home health care services, such as nursing care or physical therapy, after being hospitalized are among those at highest risk of experiencing suboptimal outcomes, including rehospitalization,” said Dr. Arbaje. “We hope to not only identify risks, but also develop methods for care providers to prevent complications in this population. We believe this work can eventually help other populations with complex needs after leaving the hospital.”

The two grant recipients were selected from 80 submissions reviewed by an independent committee of 11 health care experts. That committee was chaired by Bruce Lambert, PhD, professor of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The NPSF Board of Directors joins me in congratulating these researchers,” said Diane C. Pinakiewicz, MBA, CPPS, president of NPSF. “We are committed to advancing the efforts of investigators focused on identifying the causes of preventable error and injuries and the strategies that reduce them.”

Since 1998, NPSF has supported 38 research projects with more than $3.8 million in grant funding. For a compendium of research supported by the NPSF Research Grants Program, see the 2012 Research Program Summary of Progress report.

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