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Building the Infrastructure to Enhance QI Research in the UAB Health System

Project Description: Using this award, we planned to integrate experts in design and analysis from the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE) into the planning phase of QI projects. The Pioneer Grant was proposed to be used to carry out the following 3 Aims: 1) convene an interdisciplinary team of health system and clinical leaders and health services researchers to evaluate barriers and facilitators to conducting QI research at UAB, and to review how other institutions have succeeded at QI-research partnerships; 2) informed by the results of Aim 1, design and implement strategies to integrate scientists early in the design phase of major QI initiatives; 3) evaluate the implementation of the new process and its success in facilitating QI research at UAB. This Planning Award was proposed to serve as the nexus to bring together scientists engaged in health services and QI research with Health System leaders in QI to enhance the Health System’s QI program and create ample opportunities for QI research. Our overall goal was to create an infrastructure to bring the considerable health services research talent at UAB together with our Health System to more actively collaborate on QI projects, for the benefit of our patients and to advance the science of QI.

2014 UPDATE: As a result of this award and a recent partnership between UAB and Medscape/WebMD, we have pursued several opportunities to conduct QI research. We have obtained extramural funding for projects on ischemic stroke management, chronic lymphocytic leukemia quality of care, and rheumatoid arthritis. Our CME office facilitates the creation of teams to respond to these opportunities, bringing together scientists and clinical staff involved in QI to work together to create educational activities around specific QI topics, along with a tailored QI project. As a result of these types of projects, we will continue to build connections between educators, clinicians and researchers for the benefit of UAB’s patients.

Primary contact: Monika Safford, M.D.; Professor of Medicine
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham

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