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PCORI Announces Funding for Patient-Centered Research Network

April 25, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has issued two funding announcements for up to $68 million to support development of a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

The announcements fall under one of PCORI’s five National Priorities for Research, “Accelerating Patient-Centered and Methodological Research,” and aim to improve the nation’s capacity to efficiently conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). PCORI was established under the Affordable Care Act.

“CER can play a significant role in improving the volume and usability of information available to patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other key stakeholders across the healthcare community,” PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, M.D., said in a statement. “A national data-rich infrastructure that advances high-quality, efficient CER will benefit all Americans.”

The two linked cooperative agreement funding announcements, unveiled April 23 at a PCORI roundtable discussion on building a national data infrastructure to advance CER, will support Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs) and Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs). Together, PCORI believes, these initiatives can unite patients, researchers and healthcare systems to support efficient, effective observational and interventional studies with active participation from broad patient populations.

PCORI will fund up to $56 million to support up to eight new or existing CDRNs that will develop the capacity to conduct randomized comparative effectiveness studies using data from clinical practice in large, defined populations. PCORI also will fund up to $12 million to support up to 18 new or existing PPRNs and their progression toward a reusable, scalable, and sustainable research network.

Two innovative features of this initiative are PCORI’s expectation that health systems, clinicians and patients will play key roles in governing the direction and uses of the networks that this funding will support, and that the interests of patients will be central to decision-making about the network’s structure, function, and uses.

Over time, PCORI expects the PPRNs and CDRNs to become more integrated as a result of activating and engaging patients within multiple healthcare systems and obtaining richer clinical data on members who receive their care outside of participating systems. A funding announcement to support a Coordinating Center—which will provide management support for collaborative projects, technical resources, meeting support, and program evaluation—will be released later this spring.

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