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W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Quality and Safety Awards Program


Please click here for all deadline information:

*December 2015 call for project proposals designed to improve patient and provider communications related to Epic electronic medical record (EMR) improvements:

The Smith Awards Program seeks interdisciplinary applications for projects designed to improve patient and provider communication for the January 2016 funding cycle related to Epic electronic medical record (EMR) improvements.  Priority will be given to projects mostly likely to have the greatest impact for all Epic users for  the UF Health Gainesville and Jacksonville campus.   Selected awards will likely have a team member that includes a clinical partner from both Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses as well as support from a UF Health Epic team member. Applicants should review the initiative with and include a letter of support from Dr. Don Novak on the Gainesville campus or Dr. Jose Costa on the Jacksonville campus  as part of the application. The submissions should seek to reduce the likelihood of malpractice claims or lawsuits, improve the reliability of quality care delivery, and improve patient safety through electronic medical record (EMR) health innovation, improvements, and efficient customization.

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT), the main goal of health IT, including electronic medical records (EMRs), is to improve the quality and safety of patient care. EMRs have the potential to improve care by enhancing communication among providers, promoting timely access to information at the point of care, standardizing care processes, reducing diagnostic delays, and providing clinical decision making support.

Application Forms:

Letter of Interest Form

Next Submission Deadline: November 13, 2015

Smith Awards Application

Next Submission Deadline: January 4, 2016


The UF College of Medicine Continuing Medical Education and the UF J. Hillis Miller Health Science Center Self-Insurance Program co-sponsors an Interdisciplinary Patient Quality and Safety Award(IPQSA) Program. This award program provides start-up support for University of Florida COM and HSC faculty and Shands staff to design and implement projects focused on clinical quality, patient safety and clinical process improvement. This grant research program supports projects that are designed to improve patient safety, reduce the likelihood of adverse events or claims, and that are directed at advancing the UF Health strategic quality initiatives. The projects selected for funding may also address national quality initiatives such as the Partnership for Patients, CMS quality improvement programs, IHI and NQF quality initiatives.

Project requirements

Applicants must complete a “Letter of Interest” form (located in the upper left hand corner under IPQSA Forms) and send to the Award Program Administrator at least 30 days in advance of the submission due date. Application forms (also located in the upper left hand corner under IPQSA Forms) must be completed and submitted to the Award Program Administrator by 5 p.m. on the submission due date.

IPQSA-funded projects must plan and implement clinical education and process improvement initiatives designed to directly improve patient safety and clinical processes which enhance the delivery of care and minimize the opportunity for claims and litigation. Proposals should focus on projects directed at improving performance related to quality measures that are publicly reported or part of national quality campaigns, as described in the introduction.

Supported projects should have a strong improvement implementation plan. Primary data gathering or hypothesis-generating proposals are unlikely to be funded.

Project proposals should include a plan for evaluating the impact of the educational intervention and process improvement effort on the relevant measure. Projects must include a UF CME-accredited educational program. It is also requested that a copy of any published material resulting from the project be provided to the IPQSA program.

Additional consideration will be given to applications that include the following features:

  1. Project has interdisciplinary components including physicians, residents, nurses and other health care workers.
  2. Initiative is applicable across the educational continuum including faculty, resident, student, and post-graduate continuing medical education components.
  3. Project is expected to result in publication, poster presentation or other scholarly activity.
  4. Demonstration of how the project will be sustained after completion of the support and spread successful processes to other locations.
  5. Project is likely to serve as a foundation for further funded research.


Letter of Interest Form

IPQSA Application

Quarterly Progress Report

Final Report Form

Grant Amounts

Most IPQSA project grants will be in the amount of $25,000 or less over the life of the project. In special circumstances, consideration will be given to requests for larger amounts.

Project Duration

Up to 18 months.

Grant Cycles

Applications are received twice per year in December and June, with award announcements in January and July.

Eligible Applicants

All University of Florida College of Medicine faculty in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health Shands and other Health Science Center faculty and staff teams, as well as medical students and residents. Priority will be given to proposals that address one or more of the 2013-2015 quality goals.

Grant Submission Form

Grants must be submitted using the IPQSA application. Click here to download the IPQSA application.

Budget Information

IPQSAs may be used to support a variety of project related items including consumables, data analysis, and limited FTE support. IPQSAs may not be used to offset capital budget expenses or support expenditures that should be submitted through the regular budget process, such as clinical equipment. Grant monies may not be used to support new FTE lines or ongoing expense commitments that extend beyond the grant period. The use of IPQSA’s funds will be limited to those expense items listed in the grant request budget. Proposed travel budget expenses to conferences should only be budgeted to make poster or lecture presentations on completed project results with total amount restricted to $5,000 or less. It is also important to follow State and UF Travel requirements which can be found at:

IRB Submission

IPQSA projects will frequently require data collection involving human subjects (e.g., students, residents, faculty, patients, etc.). Human subject research is subject to review and approval by the UF Health Science Center IRB. Unless your submitted proposal meets the definition of a CQI project, IPQSA projects approved for funding must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiating the project.

For answers to common questions about “When is CQI Research?” click here:

Many IPQSA projects will likely qualify for either exempt or expedited review by the IRB, which means they can be reviewed by the Chair or Vice Chairs and do not have to be reviewed by the full Board.

To avoid federal regulation compliance issues, we suggest that Gainesville campus contact Peter Iafrate, Chairman of the IRB, at 273-9600  and Jacksonville contact Sheila Austin, Administrative Coordinator IRB, at 904-244-9427and they will advise you about which IRB category your project falls into and the proper IRB forms you need to complete and to whom to submit it to. It is highly recommended that you contact the IRB Chairman when you have completed your grant proposal or even before, to get a head start on the IRB process and minimize any potential for delay.

Project Reports

Awardees must provide brief quarterly progress reports and a final project report at the end of the project support period. Due dates for progress reports will be determined once IRB approval is obtained. IRB approval is required prior to release of funds (see IRB Submission). Ongoing funding is contingent on the receipt of these progress reports. Project sponsors may be required to present project progress at various UF Health enterprise forums. Please submit completed quarterly progress reports and any final reports to the contact person noted below.


For more information, please contact the Award Program Administrator at 352-273-7251 or