Cardinal Health Establishes $1 Million Grant Fund for Initiatives to Improve Quality and Safety of Patient Care

DUBLIN, Ohio -- To support initiatives that enhance patient safety and quality of care, Cardinal Health announced today it is granting up to $1 million to fund new and innovative programs at hospitals, health systems and community health clinics across the country.  This grant is the largest and first of its kind given by a healthcare company.

Grants of up to $50,000 will provide funding for programs that establish or implement creative and replicable methods to address challenges in providing quality patient care and to help drive improvements.

According to reports and research published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), health care in the United States is not as safe as it should be -- and can be. At least 44,000 people -- and perhaps as many as 98,000 people -- die in hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical errors. 

The healthcare community is keenly aware of the need to improve quality and patient safety, said R. Kerry Clark, Cardinal Healths CEO. "We see these grants as an opportunity to provide health-care organizations with additional resources to drive measurable improvements. We hope that our efforts will help hospitals make meaningful progress in this important endeavor.

In addition to the primary award criteria related to patient safety, programs can also be intended for operational or performance improvement, providing there is a strong impact on patient safety measures. Cardinal Healths selection committee will look for:

-- projects that respond to a clearly identified, high priority safety issue

-- projects that apply new thinking and approaches to development of solutions

collaborative programs

-- demonstrable and sustainable measures to assure that improvements hold up over time

model programs that can be replicated at other organizations

To be eligible for funding, facilities must be designated as 501(c)(3) by the IRS and submit a letter of intent to submit a proposal by Oct. 12, 2007. Applicants are encouraged to be financially invested in the program through either operating support or in-kind contributions of time and materials. Grants will be announced and awarded in March 2008.

In addition to the corporate commitment to patient safety, the Cardinal Health Foundation has provided more than $10 million for significant healthcare initiatives since its inception in 2002. Many of these have a special focus on patient safety including:

-- Serving as a lead sponsor for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,000 Lives and 5 Million Lives Campaigns.

-- Funding important patient safety initiatives in partnership with leading national and regional organizations, such as the National Quality Forum, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Maryland Patient Safety Center.

-- Development of a national poison prevention campaign focused on medication safety in partnership with SafeKids Worldwide.

Source: Cardinal Health