Under the auspices of our Research Infrastructure program, we support the sustainability and enhancement of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. Created by PCORI as a national network to foster a wide range of observational and experimental comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies, PCORnet is designed to find a faster, less expensive, more powerful way to conduct CER to improve the nation’s health and health care.

This “network of networks” 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. Guided by a wide range of healthcare stakeholders, PCORnet enables researchers to efficiently address the real-world needs of patients and those who care for them.

This broad infrastructure can support researchers conducting large observational studies that include clinical and patient-reported outcomes and also large, pragmatic clinical trials embedded within participating systems. The network employs streamlined contracting, data sharing, and Institutional Review Board protocols to increase efficiency.

The Research Infrastructure program funds and manages projects designed to enhance and optimize the network infrastructure and promote PCORnet’s sustainability goals:

  • Rapid-Cycle Research and Projects
  • People-Centered Research Foundation
  • Health Plan Research Networks
  • PCORnet Coordinating Center
  • Partnerships to Conduct Research within PCORnet

The Research Infrastructure program funds and manages projects to develop the role of patient- or participant-driven organizations to advance health outcomes improvement and guide the clinical and care delivery research enterprise, including:

  • Learning Health Systems
  • Patient-Powered Research Network (PPRN) Engagement Awards
  • Patient-Driven Research Organization Learning Network

The Research Infrastructure program also develops and manages collaborations with federal partners.

PCORI funded several demonstration studies to answer important questions while testing the technical capacity and function of PCORnet’s infrastructure:


Posted: February 25, 2016; Updated: May 6, 2019

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