Caring Wisely FY 2023 Project Contest

Project Contest Instructions

This is the proposal phase of the FY24 Caring WiselyTM Project Contest. All faculty, staff, and trainees are invite to apply!

Open Proposals is a crowdsourcing platform.  Participation is vital! 

  • Set alerts to know when your Proposal has comments. 
  • Encourage your colleagues to read Proposals and make comments. 
  • Follow-up on comments and requests for more information. 
  • Submit your Proposal as soon as possible to take advantage of feedback and optimization of your ideas for improvement.

If you would like assistance in determining the cost savings opportunities of your proposal, The Center for Healthcare Value will offer “Office Hours” to answer questions and provide guidance on cost analysis. Please email Jahan Fahimi ( and Catherine Lau ( to schedule a session.

Finalist proposals will be asked to obtain sign-off from the Executive Sponsor.

Proposal submission questions should be sent by email to Brian Holt .

For technical issues with the Open Proposal site, contact

Criteria for Winning Projects

  • Intervention has potential to measurably reduce costs of care at UCSF Health without transferring costs onto others (e.g. patients, insurers)
  • Project estimates > $250,000 direct cost savings as a benchmark
  • Project reduces variability in practice for improvement of patient outcomes and reduction of cost
  • Plan for insuring patient safety and quality outcomes are maintained or improved
  • Project addresses health equity
  • Potential for scaling the intervention within and beyond UCSF Health
  • Low risk of failure; interventions proven in prior studies may be preferred
  • Demonstrate of commitment and engagement of clinical leadership and frontline staff

Award and Participation

From the proposals submitted, at least three projects will be selected.

  • Awardees will receive up to $50,000 for one year.
  • Awardees will receive implementation science coaching support from the Caring WiselyTM team, opportunities to engage with UCSF Health stakeholders, and technical assistance (extracting EHR data and custom programming of APeX).
  • Teams must provide their own project management support.
  • This is an innovation incubator award and not a traditional grant. Funds must be expended within the project year. All costs in your budget shall be reasonable and allowable by University of California San Francisco standards. Please consult the UCSF Office of Sponsored Research for further guidance.

Awardees must complete the below deliverables within detailed timelines:

May 2023 - June 2023 (pre-project year preparation)

  1. Attend Caring WiselyTM Kickoff Meeting; target late May/early June 2023
  2. Meet individually with the Caring WiselyTM team to prepare project planning documents (A3, project trackers) as well as draft process and outcomes metrics
  3. Complete Lean A3 Thinking training and follow-up coaching; coordination between Caring WiselyTM awardees and Continuous Improvement Department will be provided; target June 2023
  4. Collect baseline data

July 2023 – June 2024 (project year)

  • Participate in Caring WiselyTM work-in-progress (WIP) meetings.  Day/times will be selected in May 2023.  Participation expected to be > 80% over the year.
    • July – August 2023: Weekly meetings (schedule TBD in May/June)
    • September 2023 – June 2024: two (2) meetings per month
  • First test of change expected by December 2023
  • Report Outs to UCSF Health Executive Leadership
  • Any resulting publication must directly cite the Caring WiselyTM funding source.


All employees and affiliates of UCSF and UCSF Health are eligible

Proposal Template

For your proposal to be considered, it must contain each of the sections in bold below (use them as headings in your proposal) and limited to four single-spaced pages. You may upload supporting files as well. 

  • ABSTRACT - One paragraph summary of your proposed initiative – Limit 1500 characters (with spaces)
  • TEAM - Core implementation team members and titles
  • PROBLEM - Background of the problem.  What is the cost associated with this problem?  Why address this problem now? What is the current condition?
  • TARGET -  What is the goal?  What are the expected benefits, both qualitative and quantitative?
  • GAPS - Why does the problem exist?  Describe system issues; technological gaps; educational gaps
  • INTERVENTION - Describe your proposed intervention and rationale for approach. Describe your practice setting and target population (e.g. department, unit, clinic, patient characteristics, diagnosis group, procedural group, provider characteristics, staff characteristics, etc.). Describe potential barriers to implementation. What are the possible adverse outcomes that may occur that may affect quality of care and patient safety as a result of your proposed intervention?
  • PROPOSED EHR MODIFICATIONS Note: EHR modifications are NOT required for a winning proposal
    • What are the clinical problems you are hoping to solve with APeX?
    • What APeX tools (patient lists, reports) or workflows (orders, documentation, alerts) are you using now to achieve this goal? How would you want these modified? 
    • What new APeX tools/workflows do you think you need to achieve the goals of your project?
  • COST - Estimated baseline costs to the health system and projected savings from the proposed project
  • SUSTAINABILITY - If successful, how will this intervention be sustained beyond the funding year?  Who are the key UCSF process owners?
  • BUDGET - Line-item budget up to $50,000 - Briefly identify key areas of the project that will require funding, e.g., salaries, software, printing, etc

Submission Instructions

Submit your proposal by clicking the orange ‘ADD PROPOSAL’ button at the top right of the screen on the "Caring Wisely FY24 Project Contest" landing page on OpenProposals.

Copy the template provided above and paste your proposal into the text box.  Click ‘SAVE’ button to submit.


  • Jan 23 - Mar 3 - Project Contest 1st Round

    Proposal Submission Deadline

    Proposal submissions due by 5pm | Fri., March 3, 2023

    • Projects with a projected direct cost savings of greater than $250,000 are more likely to be selected (click on the "Read important information about this forum" link on the home page to see more criteria for winning).
    • The Center for Healthcare Value will offer “Office Hours” to answer questions and provide guidance on cost analysis. Please email Jahan Fahimi ( and Catherine Lau ( to schedule a session.

    During this time, project teams should:

    • Build your core team and extended stakeholders interested in this problem.
    • Browse proposals and comment to improve others' proposal.
    • Review comments and provide additional information if necessary.
  • Mar 6 - Mar 13: 1st Round Review and announcement of 2nd Round Finalists
    • Proposal submissions are reviewed.
    • Selected finalists will be invited to proceed to the Optimization Phase.
    • 2nd Round Finalists announced by March 13th
  • Mar 13 - Mar 31: 2nd Round Finalists Optimization Phase

    Final updates to proposals must be complete before 5pm | Fri., March 31, 2023

    During this time, project teams should:

    • Optimize your proposal
      • Stay on top of OpenProposal comments, answer questions, and ask new ones!
    • Continue to build your core team and extended stakeholders interested in this problem
    • Obtain sign-off from the Executive Sponsor(s)
    • 2nd Round Finalists announced by March 13th
      • Any updates to Full Proposals must be completed prior to 5:00PM, Friday, March 31, 2023


  • Apr 3 - May 5: 2nd Round Review
    • Finalist proposals are reviewed.
  • May 8: FY24 Caring WiselyTM $50K Project Awards Announced

    Winners will be announced on Mon., May 8, 2023