This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits applications for grant funding to conduct Health Services Research Demonstration and Dissemination (R18) Projects focused on prevention, reduction, and effective management of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
HAIs are infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions within a healthcare setting. These infections are a significant cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. At any one time, about 1 in every 20 hospital patients has an HAI. Tens of thousands of patients lose their lives from HAIs each year, and these infections impose billions of dollars in excess costs annually.
For these reasons, the prevention of HAIs is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Department has published the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections, which is available at:http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hai/actionplan/index.html. In addition, HHS has launched the Partnership for Patients, a national effort that seeks to reduce nine specific hospital-acquired conditions, four of which are HAIs, as well as reduce hospital readmissions. AHRQ’s HAI-related activities contribute significantly to achieving the goals of the Plan and the Partnership. AHRQ collaborates with other HHS Agencies to prevent and reduce HAIs and has funded initiatives in all of the settings identified in the Plan: Acute care hospitals (Phase 1); ambulatory settings, such as ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient care clinics and offices, and hemodialysis centers/end-stage renal disease facilities (Phase 2); and long-term care settings (Phase 3). AHRQ projects have addressed a variety of HAI types, prominently among them: central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), surgical site infection (SSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), andClostridium difficile (C. diff). Summaries of AHRQ-funded HAI projects are available at the following links:
In the coming Fiscal Years, 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. This FOA announces the availability of funds to support Large Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects, using the R18 mechanism, in the following broad areas of HAI research:
- Development, demonstration, implementation, and evaluation of strategies and approaches for prevention and management of HAIs.
- Research regarding adoption and implementation (including sustainment and spread/scale-up) of evidence-based approaches for prevention of HAIs.
AHRQ is interested in R18 projects directed to any of the healthcare settings (Phases 1, 2, and 3 described above), as scientifically warranted, and is interested in all aspects of HAI prevention and management, including, but not limited to, ambulatory care, ambulatory surgery, long-term care, linkage between the various settings of care to improve tracking of HAIs, antibiotic stewardship, and multidrug resistant organisms and C. diff. AHRQ is interested in R18 projects conducted in under-resources health care settings. The Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 directed AHRQ to support demonstration projects for AHRQ priority populations (see Section IV.5 for a list of priority populations). AHRQ is interested in HAI research demonstration and dissemination projects that include a focus on priority populations such that meaning subgroup analyses can be conducted and results stratified by priority population can be produced.