Practice-based research network

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A practice-based research network (PBRN) is a group of practices devoted principally to the care of patients and affiliated for the purpose of examining the health care processes that occur in practices. PBRNs are characterized by an organizational framework that transcends a single practice or study. They provide a "laboratory" for studying broad populations of patients and care providers in community-based settings.[1]

History of primary care research[edit]

Before there were research institutes or networks of practices, there were individual practitioners who studied their patients' problems with scientific rigor. Among these were five general practitioners who have been recognized for their seminal work during the past 125 years. They are James Mackenzie, Will Pickles, John Fry, F.J.A. Huygen and Curtis G. Hames. Each of these pioneers demonstrated that important new knowledge could be discovered by practicing family physicians. And this is far from an accepted principle in the United States. These doctors all wondered about their patients' problems and they developed a means of gathering and recording data on their patients.

Each of these research pioneers provide inspiration for the development of practice-based, primary care research networks because each demonstrated that important new knowledge could be discovered by the practicing family doctor. They each wondered about their patients, developed means of gathering and recording data, and found collaborators and support from their staff and local communities. Unfortunately, they practiced in an era that was over-committed to specialism. Research focused on molecular mechanisms of disease. The rush to specialization by the medical community and the linking of research to specialists resulted in decades of neglect of primary care and virtually no recognition of the need to investigate care in the primary care setting. Instead, the common wisdom viewed primary care practices as relatively boring places that could be potential sites of application of the fruits of research done elsewhere in research laboratories, hospitals and institutes.[1]

Among the early regional networks started in the 1970s were the Family Medicine Information System in Colorado (FMIS)[2] and the Cooperative Information Project.[3] These regional networks learned from each other and succeeded in conducting studies focused on what was happening in primary care. They attracted funding from medical schools, national philanthropic foundations and federal programs such as Health for Underserved Rural Areas. As the 1970s closed, these early networks enjoyed sufficient success to stimulate debate about the next steps in the context of the microcomputer's development. Among them was a small group convened by Gene Farley in Denver in 1978 to consider establishing a national sentinel practice system. It was this idea that lead to the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network and provided in retrospect what appears to have been a nidus for the establishment of primary care PBRNs in the United States.

PBRNs are feasible and that represent a useful infrastructure for the scientific discovery of family practice and primary care. Experience to date points out the great advantages enjoyed by those with enduring, core financial support—such as the Dutch with their early national commitment to primary care and their willingness to invest in primary care research. It is also obvious that these networks require collaboration, cooperation and a spirit of sharing and trust.

These networks are now at once both a place and a concept. As a place, they are a laboratory for surveillance and research. As a concept, they express the still unmet need for practicing primary care clinicians to accept responsibility to improve frontline clinical care by understanding what is happening in their practices. Successes to date have been sufficient to incite the Institute of Medicine's 1994 committee studying the future of primary care to recommend support to stabilize and expand practice-based primary care research networks.[4]

Currently active[edit]

  1. AAFP NRN – AAFP National Research Network Kansas
  2. AANPNR – American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Network for Research Texas
  4. ACCP PBRN – American College of Clinical Pharmacy Practice-Based Research Network Kansas
  5. ACERN – Ambulatory Care Evaluation and Research Network New York
  6. ACORN – Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network Virginia
  7. ACPNet – ACPNet Pennsylvania
  8. APBRN – Alabama Practice Based Research Network Alabama
  9. APN-ARC – Advanced Practice Nurse-Ambulatory Research Consortium Ohio
  10. APPD LEARN – Association of Pediatric Program Directors Longitudinal Educational Assessment Research Network Virginia
  11. ARCHNAP St. Louis Ambulatory Care Research Consortium for Nurses in Advanced Practice Missouri
  12. AT-PBRN – Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network Arizona
  13. ATSU SOMA PBRN – A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona PBRN Arizona
  14. AppNET – The Appalachian Research Network Tennessee
  15. ArkPBRN – Arkansas Practice Based Research Network Arkansas
  16. BIGHORN – Building Investigative Practices for Better Health Outcomes Colorado
  17. BWPC PBRN – Brigham and Women's Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network Massachusetts
  18. BraveNet – The Bravewell Integrative Medicine Research Network North Carolina
  19. C-AHEAD PBRN – Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Education and Delivery PBRN Colorado
  20. CAPRICORN – Capital Area Primary Care Research Network District of Columbia
  21. CARinG Network – Cincinnati Area Research Group Network Ohio
  22. CCPC – Connecticut Center for Primary Care Connecticut
  23. CDN – Clinical Directors Network, Inc. New York
  24. COCONet – Colorado Child Outcomes Network Colorado
  25. CORC – CAMHS Outcomes Research Consortium UK
  26. CONCORD-PBRN – Consortium for Collaborative Osteopathic Research Development Practice-Based Research Network Texas
  27. CORNET – Continuity Research Network Virginia
  28. CPNet – Community Physician's Network Georgia
  29. CSPC – Centre for Studies in Primary Care
  30. CSRN – CLEAR Scoliosis Research Network Texas
  31. CaReNet – Colorado Research Network Colorado
  32. Cedars-Sinai PBRN-Cedars-Sinai Medical Delivery Network PBRN California
  33. CenTexNet – Central Texas Primary Care Research Network Texas
  34. DC PrimCare PBRN – District of Columbia Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network District of Columbia
  35. DO-Touch.NET – Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine Treating with OMM: Usefulness in Current Healthcare Missouri
  36. DesertNet – DesertNet Arizona Primary Care Research Network Arizona
  37. E-CARE – Eastern Carolina Association for Research & Education North Carolina
  38. EBD-PBRN – Evidence-Based Decisions in Dentistry Practice-Based Research Network California
  39. EPICnet – Eastern Pennsylvania Inquiry Collaborative Network Pennsylvania
  40. GR-PBRN – Greater Rochester Practice Research Network New York
  41. GRIN – Great Lakes Research Into Practice Network Michigan
  42. HCH PBRN – Health Care for the Homeless Practice Based Research Network Tennessee
  43. HHR – Holistic Healthcare and Research Centre
  44. HPRN – High Plains Research Network Colorado
  45. HamesNet – HamesNet Georgia
  46. Healthy Communities – Physicians of Southwest Washington Foundation for Quality Improvement Washington
  47. ICPA PBRN – International Chiropractic Pediatric Association PBRN Pennsylvania
  48. IDND – Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia Indiana
  49. IFHRN – Institute for Family Health Research Network New York
  50. IRENE – Iowa Research Network Iowa
  51. ISRN-RN – Improvement Science Research Network Texas
  52. JCCCR – Jefferson Coordinating Center for Clinical Research Pennsylvania
  53. JDPBRN – Dental PBRN Japan
  54. JHCP-PCRN – Johns Hopkins Community Physicians Primary Care Research Network Maryland
  55. JaxHERO – Jacksonville Health Equity Research Organization Florida
  56. KAN – Kentucky Ambulatory Network Kentucky
  57. LA Net – LA Net Community Health Network California
  58. LAC DHS ACN-R&I – Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Ambulatory Care Network – Research & Innovation California
  59. La MAISON – Louisiana Medical Home Ambulatory Improvements and Outcomes Network Louisiana
  60. Lutheran Network – Lutheran Family Health Center Network New York
  61. MAFPRN – Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Research Network Minnesota
  62. MAPPR – Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary Care Research North Carolina
  63. MASNRN – Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network Massachusetts
  64. MCHS PBRN – Mayo Clinic Health System Practice Based Research Network Minnesota
  65. MGPC-PBRN – Massachusetts General Primary Care Practice Based Research Network Massachusetts
  66. MPCRN – Military Primary Care Research Network Maryland
  67. MPPBRN – Minnesota Pharmacy Practice-Based Research Network Minnesota
  68. MTN – MO Therapy Network Missouri
  69. MedEdNet – Medical Education Research Network Oregon
  70. Mercy – Sisters of Mercy Health System Network Missouri
  71. MetroNet – Metropolitan Detroit Practice-based Research Network Michigan
  72. NC MARCH – North Carolina Multisite Adolescent Research Consortium for Health North Carolina
  73. NC-FM-RN – North Carolina Family Medicine Research Network North Carolina
  74. NCCHRN – North Carolina Child Health Research Network North Carolina
  75. NECF PBRN – New England Clinicians Forum Practice-Based Research Network Connecticut
  76. NEON – Northeastern Ohio Network Ohio
  77. NFPCRN – North Florida Pediatric Community Research Network Florida
  78. NIPC-PBRN – National Interdisciplinary Primary Care PBRN Iowa
  79. NJPCRN – New Jersey Primary Care Research Network New Jersey
  80. NP-PITTNet – NursePractitioner-PITTNet Pennsylvania
  81. NYC RING – New York City Research & Improvement Networking Group New York
  82. NYU-HHC CRA – New York University (NYU)-Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Clinical Research Association (CRA) New York
  83. National Dental PBRN – The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network Alabama
  84. NetHaven at Yale – NetHaven Practice Based Research Network Connecticut
  85. NorTex – North Texas Primary Care Practice Based Research Network Texas
  86. NorthShore PBRN – NorthShore Practice-Based Improvement Research Network Illinois
  87. Northwest PRECEDENT – Northwest Practice-based REsearch Collaborative in Evidence-based DENTistry Washington
  88. OCHRN – Oklahoma Child Health Practice Based Research Network Oklahoma
  89. OKPRN – Oklahoma Physicians Resource/Research Network Oklahoma
  90. ORPRN – Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network Oregon
  91. OPTI-WestNet – OPTI-West Practice-Based Research Network Colorado
  92. OQUIN – Outpatient Quality Improvement Network South Carolina
  93. OSU-PCPBRN – Ohio State University Primary Care Practice Based Research Network Ohio
  94. PAMFRI – Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute California
  95. PBRN-VA – VA Mental Health Practice-Based Research Network Texas
  96. PCRC – Duke Primary Care Research Consortium North Carolina
  97. PDC PBRN – Pediatric Diagnostic Center PBRN California
  98. PPOC – The Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's Massachusetts
  99. PRN – Portland Research Network Oregon
  100. PROS – Pediatric Research in Office Settings Illinois
  101. PSARN – Penn State Ambulatory Research Network Pennsylvania
  102. PeRC – The Pediatric Research Consortium Pennsylvania
  103. Pediatric PittNet – Pediatric PittNet: University of Pittsburgh CTSI PBRN Pennsylvania
  104. RAP – Research Association of Practices of the PBRN Shared Resource Ohio
  105. RCPCrN – Robeson County Primary Care research Network North Carolina
  106. REACH Network – Research and Education for Academic Achievement Network Illinois
  107. RIOS NET – Research Involving Outpatient Settings Network New Mexico
  108. Rx-SafeNet – Medication Safety Research Network of Indiana Indiana
  109. SAFTINet – Scalable Architecture for Federated Translational Inquiries Network Colorado
  110. SALT-Net – The Studying, Acting, Learning, and Teaching Network New York
  111. SAPPHIRE – South Asian Practice Partnership for Health Improvement and Research New York
  112. SCOR Network – Slone Center Office-based Research Network Massachusetts
  113. SCPPRN – South Carolina Pediatric Practice Research Network South Carolina
  114. SERCN – Southeast Regional Clinicians Network Georgia
  115. SF Bay CRN – San Francisco Bay Collaborative Research Network California
  116. SICTRN – Southeastern Integrated Clinical and Translational Research Network Florida
  117. SIPRO – Southern Illinois Practice Research Organization Illinois
  118. SOAR-Net – Southwestern Ohio Ambulatory Research Network Ohio
  119. SPUR-Net – Southern Primary-care Urban Research Network Texas
  120. SRN – ShowMe Research Network Missouri
  121. STARNet – South Texas Ambulatory Research Network Texas
  122. STOHN – South Texas Oral Health Network Texas
  123. STP PBRN – South Texas Psychiatric Practice-Based Research Network Texas
  124. SWIRLNet – South West Innovative Research and Learning Network Colorado
  125. Safety Net West – Safety Net West Oregon
  126. South Asian PBRN – South Asian PBRN
  127. Southeast Wisconsin Alliance for Translating Research into Practice – Southeast Wisconsin Alliance for Translating Research into Practice Wisconsin
  128. TAMHSC-RCHI – Texas A&M Health Science Center Rural and Community Health Institute Texas
  129. The Dartmouth CO-OP Project – Dartmouth-Northern New England CO-OP Project New Hampshire
  130. UCLA PCRN – UCLA Primary Care Research Network California
  131. UMASS-FM-PBRN – UMass Family Medicine PBRN Massachusetts
  132. UNYNET – Upstate New York Practice Based Research Network New York
  133. UT Pharm Net – University of Tennessee Pharmacist Practice Based Research Network Tennessee
  134. UUPCRN – Utah Health Research Network Utah
  135. VCMCDDCP – Ventura County Medical Center Diabetes Data Control Project Practice Based California
  136. WPRN – WWAMI region Practice and Research Network Washington
  137. WREN – Wisconsin Research and Education Network Wisconsin
  138. WU PAARC – Washington University Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium Missouri
  139. WesTRN – West Texas Research Network Texas


  1. ^ a b "PBRN's in the 21st Century – The Pearls of Research" (PDF). American Academy of Family Physicians. 
  2. ^ Green, LA (1978). "A family medicine information system: the beginning of a network for practicing and residency family physicians.". Journal of Family Practice. 7 (3): 567–76. 
  3. ^ Nelson, EC (1981). "The cooperative information project, part 1: a sentinel prac – tice network for service and research in primary care.". Journal of Family Practice. 13 (5): 641–9. 
  4. ^ Donaldson, MS (1996). Primary Care. Washington DC: National Academy Press. 

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