The healthcare system continues to evolve quickly. Creating and implementing quality and safety tools can help orthopaedic surgeons provide the kind of care their patients have come to expect. In 2014, the AAOS Quality as Advocacy Project Team outlined the importance of specialty society involvement in the development of quality initiatives. At its December 2014 meeting, the AAOS Board of Directors approved the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS) Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund to support specialty organizations' projects in the quality and safety arena.
The fund generated significant interest from a number of specialty societies. Several groups submitted proposals with the potential to improve the delivery of orthopaedic care. In 2015, a total of $158,139 was awarded to five specialty societies (Table 1). Projects address a variety of issues ranging from clinical practice guidelines to development of a risk severity score for predicting postoperative complications in patients with early-onset scoliosis. Based on this initial success, the AAOS is renewing the fund for 2016.
Changes for 2016
The proposals submitted in 2015 varied in length and content. To help BOS organizations increase their chances of success, members of the BOS grant review committee—which includes the BOS leadership and committee chairs as well as members of the AAOS Performance Measures, Patient Safety, and Evidence-Based Value and Quality committees—reevaluated the application and review process.
Beginning in 2016, the application and evaluation processes will align more closely with National Institutes of Health and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation grant writing protocols. For example, applications must be organized in the following order:
- specific aims
- background and significance
- preliminary studies and results
- research design and methods
Evaluations will be based on the following criteria:
- budget justifications
- inclusion of women, minorities, and children
To help societies prepare their proposals, the grant review committee sent the BOS societies a tip sheet explicitly outlining what a successful proposal should look like.
Just as in 2015, the grant review committee will meet quarterly to evaluate proposals until the fund is exhausted. Successful proposals will again be eligible for matching funds of up to $50,000. Competition is expected to be strong; be sure to consult the grant writing tips and submit proposals early. The first submission deadline is April 1, 2016.
For more information on the BOS Quality and Patient Safety Action Fund, contact Paul Zemaitis, MPH at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Zemaitis, MPH is the regulatory/patient safety analyst in the AAOS department of research & scientific affairs.