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$4 Million for Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics
October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10

The University of Pennsylvania Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (Penn CERT) will receive $4 million over the next four years to continue and expand its work on improving the use of therapies for infections.

The Penn CERT is a collaboration among Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), the Leonard Davis Institute (LDI), and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), as well as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“This award allows us to continue and expand our work in improving the use of antibiotics, incorporating the new tools of health IT,” said Penn CERT director Dr. Brian Strom, George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health & Preventive Medicine. “It is an indication of Penn’s national stature in patient safety, especially in the use of drugs.”

Penn’s CERT will concentrate on the:

• Effectiveness of new health care information technology on improving the use of preventive antibiotics given before operations,

• Impact of clinical laboratory text message alerts to physicians for instituting appropriate antimicrobial therapies for patients,

• Effect of public reporting on the incidence of hospital-acquired infections, and

• Evaluation of disseminating pediatric anti-microbial information.

The Penn award is part of the federal government’s $41.6 million expansion of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s CERT program, which is under the US Department of Health and Human Services.

 “This expansion allows AHRQ to build a strong evidence base that consumers, clinicians, and others can use to make critical treatment decisions about therapeutic products and interventions,” said AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy. “The increased number and breadth of expertise in the CERTs will broaden the range of knowledge to help the health care system make measurable improvements in the quality and safety of medications and other treatments and health care.” 

The CERT program now consists of a new coordinating center and 14 university-based research centers; see www.certs.hhs.gov/ for information.


Almanac - October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10