Sunday, July 24, 2011

Recruiting for Study

UTHSC San Antonio’s Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN) is seeking to partner with hospitals and academic partners in a one-year multi-site landmark research network study. The study “Small Troubles, Adaptive Responses” (STAR2): Frontline Nurse Engagement in Quality Improvement”. The plan is to engage frontline providers in quality improvement and employ evidence-based practices across institutions. The ISRN is the only NIH supported improvement research network to accelerate inter-professional improvement in all systems across multiple hospital sites.

This specific Network study will determine the types and frequency of first-order operational failures that nurses self-detect during their work shifts and will evaluate whether the self-detected failures correlate with failures that are observed by others.

Nurses on participating units will use specially-designed pocket cards to record in real-time small operational failures that they encounter. Data will then be analyzed to determine a rate of small failures per patient per day.

There are specific requirements for eligibility:

• The hospital must have 100 or more inpatient beds and house at least three eligible clinical units

• Clinical units providing acute care need to have a minimum of 20 nurses per unit, have an average length of patient stay of 2 to 4 days, and in operation for at least one year

• Frontline participants must hold a license as a Registered Nurse, provide direct patient care or mid-level management in clinical units, have a minimum of one year of acute nursing care experience, and have a minimum tenure on the study clinical unit of 6 months as a frontline or mid-level management nurse

• The study site has to have at least one ISRN associate and a project coordinator/investigator

The study has certain exclusions. Units that primarily provide behavioral health, rehabilitation, physical therapy, ambulatory care or other outpatient services, and primary care are excluded. Also units providing services to patients with high acuity levels such as intensive care units, units that provide same-day surgery or procedural services, and hospitals located outside the U.S. healthcare system are also excluded.

ISRN is soliciting Letters of Intent (LOI) by August 15th from study sites interested in participating in one of the quality improvement studies. The LOIs will need to address the research projects, how the organization will meet all the eligibility criteria, briefly highlight the resources available to take part in one of the network studies, and interest in the ISRN.

Based on the LOIs received, a limited number of applicants will be invited by September 15th to submit a full proposal and at that time, more detailed instructions will be provided.

For more information, go to or contact Dr. Frank Puga at