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VOLUME 44 | NUMBER 2.2 | APRIL 2009

Assessment of Contributions to Patient Safety Knowledge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-Funded Patient Safety Projects

Objective. To characterize the activities of projects funded in Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)'s patient safety portfolio and assess their aggregate potential to contribute to knowledge development.

Data Sources. Information abstracted from proposals for projects funded in AHRQ's patient safety portfolio, information on safety practices from the AHRQ Evidence Report on Patient Safety Practices, and products produced by the projects.

Study Design. This represented one part of the process evaluation conducted as part of a longitudinal evaluation based on the Context–Input–Process–Product model.

Principal Findings. The 234 projects funded through AHRQ's patient safety portfolio examined a wide variety of patient safety issues and extended their work beyond the hospital setting to less studied parts of the health care system. Many of the projects implemented and tested practices for which the patient safety evidence report identified a need for additional evidence. The funded projects also generated a substantial body of new patient safety knowledge through a growing number of journal articles and other products.

Conclusions. The projects funded in AHRQ's patient safety portfolio have the potential to make substantial contributions to the knowledge base on patient safety. The full value of this new knowledge remains to be confirmed through the synthesis of results.

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