TThe Quality Interagency Coordination (QuIC) Task Force, led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), convened a “Summit” meeting to hear testimony for developing a national agenda for research in patient safety. As previously reported in the APSF Newsletter, the now widely hailed report of the Institute of Medicine, To Err is Human: Toward a Safer Healthcare System, has led to a tidal wave of interest in patient safety. Among the recommendations is the call for expanded research, including federal funding, most likely under the auspices of AHRQ. While anesthesia is singled out in the IOM report for its pioneering efforts in patient safety, the topics for research needs extend to a much wider arena, beyond care in the perioperative and hospitals.
The presentations at the Summit meeting were divided into five categories, representing the views of a wide constituency including representatives of consumers and purchasers (e.g., relative of a patient injured as result of medical care, The Arthritis Foundation, National Business Coalition on Health), broad-based system approaches (e.g., AHA, Kaiser Permanente, Human Factors Society), particular system issues (e.g., medication error, hospital staffing, medical devices), reporting issues and learning approaches (e.g., AMA, Minnesota Department of Health), and state coalitions and public policy advocates (e.g., JCAHO, Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors). Videotape of the actual testimony and a summary can be found on the QuIC website: (http://www.quic.gov/summit/index.htm).
For reasons known only to those who selected testimony from the approximately 100 submissions of abstracts, APSF was not asked to deliver oral testimony at the meeting. However, APSF did submit written testimony as did other organizations. The APSF testimony, which was similar to the APSF response to the original IOM report that was reprinted in the Summer 2000 Newsletter briefly described the APSF’s pioneering leadership in patient safety and recommendations for priorities for future research. These were summarized by Dr. Cooper during the afternoon public comment session and can be found at http://www.quic.gov/summit/hsmtcqpm.ram.
The APSF Scientific Evaluation Committee is preparing to conduct another study of the results and impact of its research grants program. The last such study was conducted in 1996 and was reported in the Spring, 1997 APSF Newsletter, which can be found on line at www.APSF.org.