Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute requesting grant proposals

August 8, 2012

A national research institute wants to give you money to help improve patient outcomes in healthcare--provided you're willing to partner with patients in your research.

A national research institute wants to give you money to help improve patient outcomes in healthcare-provided you’re willing to partner with patients in your research.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is awarding $96 million in grants for comparative effectiveness research into:

  • assessing prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options;

  • improving healthcare systems;

  • communication and dissemination research,;and

  • strategies for reducing or eliminating disparities in healthcare.

PCORI announced availability of the grants and the criteria for receiving funds in an online article for the Annals of Internal Medicine.

PCORI’s mission emphasizes patient-centered outcomes research, which it defines as research that addresses the patient questions:

  • What should I expect will happen to me?

  • What are my options, and what are the potential benefits and harms of those options?

  • What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?

  • How can clinicians and the care delivery systems they work in help me make the best decisions about my health and healthcare?

To be considered for funding, patients and other relevant stakeholders must be included as partners in the research. PCORI has funded 50 pilot projects addressing ways that patients and other stakeholders can be included in the research process. Details are available at www.pcori.org/pilot-projects/.

Grant applications will be judged on:

  • the importance of the condition in terms of population burden and individual suffering,

  • innovations that increase the chances that the proposed research may lead to improved decision-making and patient outcomes,

  • the inclusiveness of the study population,

  • the patient-centeredness of the proposal in terms of the comparisons and outcomes it studies,

  • the rigor of the scientific methods,

  • the chance that the research may lead to improved efficiency or performance at the individual or health system level,

  • the composition and quality of the research team, and

  • the efficiency of use of the requested research resources

“The patient perspective is imperative, [because] [t]he research is intended to assist patients and their caregivers in making decisions and achieving the outcomes they desire,” Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, tells Medical Economics. “Without their direct engagement, the questions can be off-target, the recruitment of patient participants inadequate, and the dissemination insufficient.

“Whether we’re talking about improving the system of healthcare delivery, or the individual decisions patients and their caregivers have to make, or improving the capacity to do research, we’re always trying to look through the eyes of the patient and see things from their perspective,” he adds.

October 15 is the deadline for submitting a letter of intent for the next round of application funding. The deadline for submitting the application is November 30, with awards to be announced in April.

Full details about the application process are available for download at www.pcori.org/assets/PFAguidelines.pdf

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