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Solution Research Test Bed: Test Bed Network

As part of the ongoing research into improving patient safety and quality of the healthcare system, Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT) has established the world's largest research test bed, with more than 3,100 institutions representing more than 10 networks.

TMIT is working directly with the Research Test Bed to quantify the hospital costs and implementation of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Safe Practices. In an effort to make the NQF Safe Practices Survey reasonable and appropriate for hospitals, yet still striving to drive patient safety forward in the U.S. healthcare system, TMIT is seeking the input of healthcare stakeholders from around the country. Such stakeholders are needed to provide input into development of the Survey and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or Answer Guide for the survey.

At the national level, TMIT is focusing on special needs of specific patient populations, such as pediatrics, special care hospitals, and rural hospitals. The goal of these individual Task Forces is to evaluate the Safe Practices in relationship to these special patient populations to determine how applicable they are and whether individualized metrics can be designed to meet the same expectations as general acute care hospitals, but with appropriate measurement criteria.

TMIT is also undertaking research on the Safe Practices and will be interviewing all 3,126 institutions that have responded to the 2006 NQF Safe Practices Leap to understand the Safe Practices' impact on patient safety and quality, the difficulty of adoption, and the associated cost of implementation. TMIT is also sponsoring this Test Bed with various state and national organizations to address the special regional issues as a means of further research into the development of quality measures in healthcare and to receive ongoing input into the development of the NQF Safe Practices Survey.

At the state level, Task Forces within the Test Bed are focused on a review of the current 30 Safe Practices to provide input on the survey questions, and to develop specific metrics for measurement as they pertain to the provision of healthcare services in their region. Individual states are also using the Test Bed to develop an internal benchmarking system for hospitals in their states.

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