Putting the cart before the horse?

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The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) held a roundtable today on “implementation and dissemination” of PCOR findings. The presentations in the early part of the day focused on methods for implementation and dissemination used by the research community, primarily by the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ), as a starting point for designing a framework or blueprint to carry forward the results of PCORI-funded research.

Public participants noted that prior to designing a framework or blueprint, PCORI should step back and define the outcomes they hope to achieve through implementation and dissemination- Is it just to make a patient aware of research and empower him/her to make a particular choice about his/her care? Is it to change clinical guidelines and practice? Or is it to inform researchers on areas where more evidence is needed? Having a clear sense of these desired outcomes could more effectively guide how PCORI should design its implementation and dissemination strategy and communicate with different groups.

But there is a step between conducting PCOR and getting findings out to their intended audience. This step includes identifying how much information is enough to serve as the basis of a health care decision. The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) is hosting and online event, titled “When Is the Evidence ‘Enough’ to Make a Health Care Decision?” where experts will start to explore this issue.

NPC also published a survey recently of how health researchers, government officials, employers, payers and health care associations perceive PCORI and comparative effectiveness research broadly. While the Alliance for Aging Research and others in the patient advocacy community focus on keeping PCORI patient-centered, NPC is shining a light on additional issues and important sectors that will be driving health care research in the years ahead.