Program Overview

Under the auspices of our Research Infrastructure program, PCORI has funded the development of a national resource called PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. PCORnet® is designed to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct patient-centered health research, particularly comparative effectiveness research (CER), efficiently, and to learn from the healthcare experiences of millions of people to allow for large-scale research to be conducted with enhanced accuracy and efficiency.

PCORnet is a “network of networks” that harnesses the power of large amounts of health information, including data from electronic health records, while leveraging strong partnerships between patients, clinicians, health plans, and health systems. PCORnet consists of eight Clinical Research Networks (CRNs) supported by PCORI. CRNs consist of two or more healthcare systems, including hospitals, integrated delivery systems, and federally qualified health centers. There are more than forty health systems participating in PCORnet through the CRNs. The CRNs transform data gathered from routine patient care across their participating health systems to a consistent format, the PCORnet Common Data Model (CDM), to enable rapid response to research-related questions. The Coordinating Center for PCORnet maintains the PCORnet CDM and serves as a central hub for the Network, bringing the diverse PCORnet networks, institutions, and patients together through shared communications, meetings, and initiatives.

This broad infrastructure can support researchers conducting large observational studies that include clinical and patient-reported outcomes as well as large, pragmatic clinical trials embedded within participating systems. To learn more about PCORnet, click here.



PCORI has invested more than $460 million in infrastructure funding for PCORnet in a phased approach. Previous phases of PCORI funding have supported infrastructure planning (Phase 1) and infrastructure implementation and capacity building (Phase 2).

For the current phase (Phase 3), the PCORI Board of Governors developed and approved the Prioritizing Principles for Infrastructure Funding Relating to PCORnet in 2021 to guide decision making about PCORI infrastructure funding for the optimization of PCORnet. Aligned with these principles, in Phase 3 of PCORnet this “network of networks” is intended to optimize its capacity to serve as a national resource for conducting rapid, efficient, patient-centered CER that improves healthcare delivery and health outcomes.

Building upon the prioritizing principles, in 2022 the PCORI Board of Governors approved the Strategies to Leverage PCORnet to Advance PCORI’s National Priorities for Health and Evaluate PCORnet Performance, which sets forth a framework to leverage PCORnet assets for the advancement of PCORI strategic priorities and to inform PCORI’s ongoing evaluation of PCORnet.


PCORnet Network Partners use visual metric tracking or a "dashboard" for evaluating progress in serving as a national resource to support multi-network, patient-centered observational and interventional research.

View the PCORnet Dashboard

Posted: February 25, 2016; Updated: October 3, 2022

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