Our starting point was our 2010 authorizing law, which required that we peer review the results of all our funded research studies and make the findings accessible, in forms useful to patients, physicians, and the public, within 90 days of our receiving them. But the law didn’t specify how to do that. So, after asking our stakeholders what our approach should be, our Board of Governors settled on a process we’ve been following since October 2016. This includes developing a final research report that provides a detailed description of how the study developed, all of its results, and the lessons learned—beyond what is usually available in traditional scientific articles. The report goes through a rigorous peer-review process to ensure that it is comprehensive and trustworthy. The JAMA Viewpoint describes some of the challenges we’ve faced in implementing this process, as well as its potential impact on health research.
We’re proud to have recently marked several milestones in this effort. We have posted more than 230 sets of professional and lay language summaries of completed PCORI-funded studies. These summaries are the product of our PCOR Translation Center, but can only be completed after the final report’s peer review.
We’ve also posted 50 peer-reviewed final research reports, each of which provides deep detail and insight into a completed project. Additionally, we’ve made several recent enhancements to our website so that anyone—patients, researchers, clinicians, insurers, or other healthcare stakeholders—can more easily find these important documents. The Explore Our Portfolio search on our website, for instance, now allows users to search for projects that have final research reports and/or lay and professional abstracts posted. To do so, filter for these under the Project Status button.
As we note in the article, ‘it is possible that the framers of the legislation that created PCORI were on to something when they mandated peer review and public access to all research results.’
You can learn more in our JAMA Viewpoint about our peer-review process and why we think it’s not only groundbreaking but could also go a long way to making health research more transparent, useful, and efficient. As we note in the article, “it is possible that the framers of the legislation that created PCORI were on to something when they mandated peer review and public access to all research results.”
But we also know that it’s still very early in our work, and we all have much to learn about how to make health research and care delivery more efficient, effective, and patient centered. We welcome your comments below on whether we’re on the right track.