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In September 2002, AHRQ entered into a four-year contract with the RAND Corporation to serve as the patient safety evaluation center for its patient safety initiative. The evaluation center is responsible for performing a longitudinal evaluation of the full scope of AHRQ's patient safety activities and for providing regular feedback to support the continuing improvement of this initiative over the four-year project period. This is the fourth and final evaluation report prepared by RAND. It presents new results for the period from October 2005 through September 2006, synthesizes the full evaluation findings over the four-year evaluation period, and discusses how AHRQ activities could be strengthened as the initiative moves forward. It also describes how AHRQ's strategy and activities developed over time, the new knowledge generated by funded projects, and the contributions of various components of the initiative to patient safety. Finally, it presents updated baseline data on selected outcome measures and discusses options for ongoing monitoring of effects on both practices and outcomes.

This work was sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The research was conducted in RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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