PCORnet project to engage health systems

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has announced $5 million in funding for a project to demonstrate the ability of its "network of networks," known as PCORnet, to engage health system leaders and clinicians to conduct relevant research.

In the first step, it will provide $1 million to enable sites within PCORnet partner networks to work with health system leaders to identify and prioritize a set of data-driven research activities of high interest to those organizations and their clinicians. It will then provide up to $4 million to fund up to five one-year research studies on those priority topics.

PCORnet aims to harness the power of health data collected from sources such as electronic health records and patients' routine interactions with their healthcare providers to inform research. That requires the cooperation of the health systems where that care takes place.

Among the criteria for projects funded under the demonstration, according to slides presented at the Board of Governors meeting Wednesday:

  • The project will be of interest and add value for multiple PCORnet health systems.
  • The project will leverage data resources with or without additional health system data.
  • Topics will be rated as priority by the CEOs/system leaders.
  • Initial projects may be descriptive projects or they may evaluate utility of data sources for addressing specific questions of health systems leaders.

The institute plans to release requirements for a limited competition in May, with applications due in June.

The board was pleased that a recent Government Accountability Organization report found PCORI to be operating in accordance with requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The report, however, found that the lack of a standard data model poses a hindrance to creating its "network of networks."

In December, PCORI approved $93.5 million to support 29 clinical research data networks it hopes to integrate to improve comparative effectiveness research.

To learn more:
- check out the slides