When we held PCORI’s first Annual Meeting in 2015, it was largely an opportunity to convene our stakeholders to meet each other, discuss their goals and our plans for a still-new research organization, and to report on progress being made by some of our earliest-funded studies.
Now, just days away from the start of our fourth Annual Meeting, what strikes me is how much things have changed.
Our portfolio of studies and related initiatives to advance and support patient-centered outcomes research now tops $2.3 billion and encompasses more than 600 research and related projects. More than 100 of those studies have been completed, with peer-reviewed results reported on our website. Many of these, as well as additional studies, have also been reported in leading medical journals.
Our Annual Meeting, which runs from October 31 through November 2 in Washington, DC, will highlight a substantial number of those studies and results. This year’s meeting, “From Evidence to Impact: Putting What Works into Action,” reflects our focus on the need to go beyond publishing and posting. We must ensure relevant findings from these studies make their way to patients, clinicians, and policy makers, and that they have a chance to improve patient care and outcomes.
As you’d expect at a PCORI event, our awardees, their patient and stakeholder research partners, clinicians, payers, and policy makers will be joining us for these critical discussions. Implementation and practice change are not easy and it does take the entire community, working on behalf of patients, to move the needle. Again this year, we look forward to hosting up to 1,000 representatives of all the stakeholder groups we serve, which is unusual for meetings of this kind. Registration is free of charge. And for those who can’t make it in person, we’ll be live-streaming the plenary and breakout sessions.
We’re pleased to welcome two compelling keynote speakers, Amy Berman, RN, Senior Program Officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, and Mark Smith, MD, MBA, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Health Care Foundation. Our plenary and breakout sessions, meanwhile, will feature more than two-dozen researchers and their stakeholder partners discussing the results of their work. Joining them will be more than one dozen discussants from across the healthcare community who will put those findings in context.
We must ensure relevant findings from these studies make their way to patients, clinicians, and policy makers, and that they have a chance to improve patient care and outcomes.
As I read through this year’s program, it’s clear to me that our research results are beginning to demonstrate the ways that comparative clinical effectiveness research is contributing to improved health outcomes for patients and their families—but also to more effective and more efficient health care.
As one example, for patients and clinicians considering a treatment choice that is expected to have both benefits and potential adverse effects, there is very little evidence on just how much of a treatment is ideal, in terms of dosage, frequency, or duration of treatment, or of where and how the treatment is best delivered. Should I take an adult or a baby aspirin daily to prevent heart attack and stroke? Do I need to take a new multiple sclerosis drug for the rest of my life or for some shorter period? Do I need to receive this medication intravenously or are pills just as safe and effective? Many PCORI-funded studies are addressing these questions of how much, how often? In our opening plenary session, we will talk in detail about these kinds of studies and what to do with the results.
We also know that an ideal healthcare system provides care efficiently, enhances access for those who need it, and focuses on the outcomes most important to patients and other stakeholders. A number of PCORI-funded studies compare treatment options, including interventions that make care more patient centered. In many of these studies, we also look at whether differing approaches may affect the need for future health care use—in either direction. One thing we know is that patients want to spend as little time in the hospital as possible. What we need to know more about is how to plan and analyze our studies so we can include future healthcare use among the impacts we measure, along with other outcomes of importance to patients.
At this year’s Annual Meeting, you’ll hear about studies we’ve funded that address these and many other issues. Check out the complete meeting program on the PCORI Annual Meeting website, and join the conversation online by using the hashtag #PCORI2018. I hope you’ll consider joining us; you can register and make travel arrangements through the website.