Advance patient safety in your practice.

Boston, MA, August 9, 2019—CRICO, a recognized leader in evidence-based risk management, owned by and serving the Harvard medical community, is pleased to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) to advance our commitment to patient safety. This RFA is designed to support identification, evaluation, and implementation of patient safety solutions aligned with identified areas of malpractice risk. Priority will be given to proposals that are original, evidence-based, aimed at improving patient safety and reducing malpractice risk, and designed for operational sustainability within the investigator’s organization. This includes proposals that:

  1. Examine specific domains of malpractice risk and patient harm while assessing the factors at various levels that contribute to such risks.

  2. Investigate strategic interventions at individual, systems, and organizational levels to help reduce and eliminate specific patient harm and malpractice risk.

  3. Disseminate proven solutions to reduce malpractice risk. It is anticipated that knowledge gained from these projects will positively affect care delivery and promote risk reduction.

Focus Areas

Applications must also match one of the specified focus areas. Please note in your Letter of Intent which area you plan to address and which type of grant (i.e., a, b, or c from above) best defines your proposal’s intent. CRICO is interested in funding projects that examine patient safety risks, investigate strategic interventions for those risks, and/or disseminate proven solutions in the following areas:

  1. Patient Assessment: We are interested in proposals that address “clinical situations which present vulnerabilities to front-line clinicians and predispose them to diagnostic errors” (Reyes, 2016). Issues to be addressed include:

    • Factors (system or individual) that contribute to a provider’s failure or inability to identify, address, or synthesize relevant clinical information—e.g., symptoms, history, physical findings, diagnostic tests, imaging results—leading to missed or delayed diagnosis. This category also includes failures or delays in ordering or interpreting diagnostic studies.
    • Factors related to narrow diagnostic focus (includes reliance on previous assessment or diagnosis, atypical presentations, and inadequate patient assessment).
    • Failure to rescue, defined as a clinician’s or provider’s delay in or lack of appropriate and timely response to a patient’s deteriorating clinical condition.

    We are interested in applications that explore risks in Patient Assessment for the following clinical domains: Emergency Medicine, Radiology, General Medicine, Obstetrics, and Nursing.

  2. Management and Performance of Medical Treatment/Procedural Safety: (i.e., procedures performed outside the operating room): We are interested in proposals that address the management and performance of medical treatment (procedures performed outside the operating room) by Emergency Medicine, General and Internal Medicine, Interventional Radiology, Radiology, and Nursing. Issues to be addressed include:

    • Ways to reduce the risk of improper technical performance of specific procedures or treatments, e.g., cardiac catheterization, endoscopy, and procedures performed in interventional radiology.
    • Risks associated with improper management of a patient’s medical treatment course before, during, or after a procedure, e.g., delays, failure, or mismanagement of acute and/or chronic conditions, improper medication management, or improper monitoring.
  3. Other Areas of Clinical Focus:
    • Emergency Medicine
      We are interested in proposals that address risks and challenges associated with patient throughput, capacity management, care transitions, and the management of complex patients.
    • Surgery
      We are interested in proposals that address risks associated with, and potential interventions for, the technical performance and management of general, orthopedic, neuro, and plastic surgery procedures.
    • Emerging Health Care Delivery Models
      We are interested in proposals that examine and evaluate the application of innovative health care delivery models including: the expanding role of advanced practice providers in various clinical settings, the impact of telehealth, virtual visits, urgent care, and alternatives to acute hospital admissions.

The RFA is offered to CRICO-insured members at all levels of experience. Partnerships across CRICO-insured organizations are encouraged. Submissions that contain designs to further impact enterprise risk and emerging patient safety issues are also encouraged.

RFA Timeline

Dates with deadlines: materials due no later than 5 p.m.

August 9, 2019 RFA announcement
September 19, 2019 Deadline for Letter of Intent
October 9, 2019 Invitations for full applications
November 14, 2019 Deadline for full applications
March 2020 Final proposals for Board Approval
April 2020 Notice of Grant Award

Project Duration and Funding

Support will be provided for no more than two years, with a total budget not to exceed $200,000 per award. CRICO principal investigators must agree to dedicate at least five percent annualized effort to approved projects during the grant cycle. All research is to be conducted at CRICO member health care organizations, with written notification from these organizations acknowledging their support and approval. Applicants with proposals requiring greater than $200,000 to meet the project’s aims will need to demonstrate proof of co-funding.

Letters of Intent will be reviewed to determine alignment with CRICO’s mission and targeted areas of funding interest. Proposals deemed most congruent with CRICO’s objectives will be invited to submit a full-length, detailed proposal for peer review. Institutional subject matter experts within each target area will serve as reviewers. Final proposals selected by the review committee will be submitted to the CRICO Board of Directors in March 2020 for funding consideration and approval.

For More Information

If you have any questions regarding this announcement or requirements for the letter of intent, please refer to our website or contact Jeff Timperi, Grants Manager, at 617.450.6887 or Rachael Barzey, Grants Administrator, at 617.450.5517. The grants team can also be reached by email. Information about this RFA can be found on the Grants RFA Details page.


Reyes, H. Diagnostic Pitfalls: A New Approach to Understand and Prevent Diagnostic Error. Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine 9th International Conference. Hollywood, CA. 2016.

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