Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grants Go to MGH & Mt. Sinai

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston and Mount Sinai School of Medicine were awarded grants from the Institute for Health Technology, a research and educational foundation located in Washington D.C. The grant funds totaling more than $440,000 will be used to support studies on how medical technologies can be used to reduce healthcare-associated infections.

The two research teams receiving the grant awards were among a number of applicants responding to InHealth’s RFP for “The Impact of Advanced Medical Technologies on the control of Healthcare-Associated Infections” which was issued November 2011 and awarded March 2012. The period of performance is from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013.

The RFP was focused on studies that would evaluate the role and impact of technologies and how technologies contribute to clinical practices and not on creating or refining clinical practices or protocols. The focus for the RFP on technologies was seeking medical devices and diagnostics.

MGH will receive $229,597 to study the clinical, operational, and economic value of rapid molecular diagnostics for preventing and controlling VRE, an organism resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin which is a common cause of infections acquired in hospitals.

Rapid molecular diagnostics have the potential to improve patient care and resource allocation, and their contribution to patient care and operations has yet to be quantified. The studies will pioneer the application of computer simulation techniques to model patient flow in the hospital and examine how alternative infection control strategies might improve both clinical and economic outcomes.

The second grant funding will award Mount Sinai School of Medicine $213,278 to study healthcare-associated infections following cardiothoracic surgery. The researchers will assess the costs arising from different types of infections and create benchmarks to assess novel interventions.

These infections constitute the most common non-cardiac complication after cardiac surgery and cause substantial morbidity, mortality, prolonged hospitalizations, and higher readmission rates. The study will use data available from the NIH funded cardiothoracic surgical trials network’s data center located at Mount Sinai’s International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research.

The Mount Sinai study is expected to provide a better understanding of the ranges of cost and effectiveness that future innovations will need to offer if they are to supplant or supplement existing technologies or management practices.

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