Primary Care Practice-based Research Networks on the Rise, Offering More Advanced Research Capacity
A new AHRQ-funded study describes the rapid growth in the number of primary care Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs) registered with AHRQ. The 143 PBRNs registered in 2011, an increase of 30 from 2010, included 12,981 practices with more than 63,000 providers who care for approximately 47.5 million people, or about 15 percent of the U.S. population. The study found these PBRNs conducted an average of four studies per year, and that 70 percent of PBRNs have used electronic health record (EHR) data for research. More than 60 percent of PBRNs focus their research efforts on underserved, low-income, and minority populations. Diabetes accounted for half (50 percent) of the most commonly studied health conditions, followed by obesity (42 percent). PBRNs are adopting more advanced study designs and have developed valuable capacity for investigating questions of importance to clinical practice, disseminating results, and implementing evidence-based strategies, the authors conclude. The study, Supporting Better Science in Primary Care: A Description of Practice-based Research Networks in 2011, was published in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®
J Am Board Fam Med. 2012 Sep;25(5):565-71. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2012.05.120100.
Supporting better science in primary care: a description of practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in 2011.
SourceDepartment of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND:Bound by a shared commitment to improving medical care through systematic inquiry, practice-based research networks (PBRNs) provide a basic laboratory for primary care research and dissemination.
METHODS:Data from US primary care PBRNs were collected as part of the 2011 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality PBRN registration process. Data addressed PBRN characteristics, research activities, and perceived strengths and weaknesses.
RESULTS:One hundred forty-three primary care PBRNs were registered with the resource center in 2011, including 131 that were identified as either eligible for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recognition (n = 121) or as developing (n = 10). These PBRNs included 12,981 practices with more than 63,000 individual members providing care to approximately 47.5 million people. PBRNs had an average of 482 individual members (median, 170) from 101 practices (median, 32).
CONCLUSIONS:PBRNs are growing in experience and research capacity. With member practices serving approximately 15% of the US population, PBRNs are adopting more advanced study designs, disseminating and implementing practice change, and participating in clinical trials. PBRNs provide valuable capacity for investigating questions of importance to clinical practice, disseminating results, and implementing evidence-based strategies. PBRNs are well positioned to support the emerging public health role of primary care providers and provide an essential component of a learning health care system.
- Measuring the impact of practice-based research networks (PBRNs). [J Am Board Fam Med. 2012]
Supporting Better Science in Primary Care: A Description of Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs) in 2011
- [PubMed - in process]