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AHRQ Releases Toolkits to Help Providers and Patients Implement Safer Health Care Practices
Date:12/5/2007

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An array of toolkits designed to help doctors, nurses, hospital managers, patients and others reduce medical errors was released today by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The 17 toolkits, developed by AHRQ-funded experts who specialize in patient safety research, are free, publicly available, and can be adapted to most health care settings. The toolkits range from checklists to help reconcile medications when patients are discharged from the hospital to processes to enhance effective communication among caregivers and with patients to toolkits to help patients taking medications.

"These toolkits build on AHRQ's investment in patient safety research over the past 6 years and support our commitment to research that can be put to use in everyday settings," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "These toolkits are a major advance toward putting knowledge into practice and saving lives."

The toolkits were developed through AHRQ's Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety (PIPS) program. Researchers who developed the toolkits examined best practices in a variety of health care settings, including small rural facilities, large urban hospitals, health clinics, and hospital emergency departments. They also studied patient safety interventions among diverse populations, including children and older patients.

While some of the toolkits focus on identifying high-risk practices, others are designed to help health professionals reduce medication errors or other patient harms. Examples of the kinds of interventions that the toolkits promote include:

-- The Re-Engineered Hospital Discharge "Project RED" toolkit standardizes the hospital discharge process through a set of manuals and software designed to improve communication between patients and clinicians.

-- The Medications at Transitions and Clinical Handoffs "MATCH" toolkit focuses on identifying
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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