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Two nurse researchers from the Columbia University School of Nursing have received a combined $3.73 million in grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a unit of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Amanda Hessels, PhD, assistant professor at Columbia Nursing, will receive $1.86 million in funding through a five-year R18 Research Demonstration and Dissemination grant. Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, associate professor at Columbia Nursing, will receive a $1.87 million five-year R01 grant.

Hessels’ study is titled “Simulation to Improve Infection Prevention and Patient Safety: The SIPPS Trial.” The study will test a simulation intervention designed to improve provider performance of standard precautions and prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and occupational blood-borne pathogen exposures.

Hessels tells, “Despite well-established guidelines and training, standard precautions are not reliably practiced, with self-reported adherence among nurses, who have the most direct patient contact in acute care, at less than 50 percent. HAIs are a substantial public health problem affecting approximately two million patients annually, and every year one in 25 registered nurses are exposed to blood-borne pathogens. We think simulation training may improve standard precaution adherence and ultimately improve healthcare quality and safety for patients and providers.”

Poghosyan’s mixed methods study is entitled “Social Networks in Medical Homes and Impact on Patient Care and Outcomes.” The study will combine analysis of team configurations and social networks in Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) to assess quality of care and patient outcomes and identify team best practices.

Poghosyan tells, “The PCMH model aims to address such primary care challenges as poor access and quality and rising costs by delivering team-based care. Yet little is known about the composition of effective teams to achieve best patient outcomes. How team members communicate, share advice or help to deliver care, or how social networks affect quality and outcomes have not been studied. Our innovative mixed-methods study will fill this gap to assure the best quality of care and outcomes, particularly for patients with chronic diseases.”

To learn more about Columbia University nurse researchers Amanda Hessels and Lusine Poghosyan who received a combined $3.73 million in grants from the US Department of Health and Human Services, visit here.

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