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Network to Explore How Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Can be Incorporated into Clinical Practice

May 10, 2016
by David Raths
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AHRQ-funded project to develop recommendations for implementing PCOR findings in clinical workflows via clinical decision support

The federal government is devoting $1.3 billion to funding patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), defined as the results of medical care that are important to patients. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is funding a new learning network to explore how PCOR findings can be incorporated into clinical practice through health IT-enabled clinical decision support (CDS).

Numerous barriers to the effective use of CDS still exist and must be overcome for PCOR findings to be incorporated into CDS at scale. Barriers include limited awareness and availability of PCOR findings; limited expertise with interpreting and embedding those findings into CDS; the lack of widely adopted standards for CDS; the still limited use of portals and personal health records by patients; the lack of a forum to promote stakeholder engagement for assessing barriers and facilitators to implementing PCOR findings in CDS; the lack of collaboration sites with appropriate tools; and the lack of a model for creating and managing authoritative best-practice knowledge repositories.

To address these barriers, investigators at Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina are developing the PCOR Clinical Decision Support Learning Network (PCOR CDS-LN). This network will bring together stakeholders to collectively pursue the following aims:

  • Accelerate collaborative learning opportunities by convening, implementing, and initiating operation of a multi-stakeholder CDS learning network;
  • Identify barriers and facilitators to the incorporation of PCOR findings in CDS, and develop recommendations for implementing PCOR findings in clinical workflows via CDS; 
  • Monitor and measure the dissemination and use of PCOR findings in vendor-based and open source CDS tools, evaluate the effectiveness of the PCOR CDS-LN, and adapt its activities to increase effectiveness based on these findings; and
  • Develop a sustainability plan for ongoing operations of the PCOR CDS-LN.

Several big names in clinical decision support research are on the PCOR CDS-LN Steering Committee, including Barry Blumenfeld, M.D., M.S.; Blackford Middleton, M.D., M.P.H.; Jerome Osheroff, M.D.; Kensaku Kawamoto, M.D., Ph.D.; and Robert Greenes, M.D., Ph.D. The network also connects an active community of members across multiple areas including, providers, patients, health IT vendors, informatics researchers, payers and others.