Program Overview

Under the auspices of our Research, Data and Technology unit, PCORI funds a national resource for patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) called PCORnet®.

PCORnet is a national resource where high-quality health data, patient partnership and research expertise deliver fast, trustworthy answers that advance health outcomes. PCORnet is designed to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct patient-centered health research—particularly patient-centered 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" consisting of eight Clinical Research Networks (CRNs). CRNs comprise two or more healthcare systems, including hospitals, integrated delivery systems and federally qualified health centers. More than 40 health systems participate 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 CDM and serves as a central hub for the Network, bringing the diverse 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.

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 to optimize PCORnet. Aligned with these principles, this network of networks will 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.

Go to the PCORnet Website

Monitoring Progress and Measuring Success: Optimizing PCORnet through Continuous Learning and Evaluation

PCORI conducts ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities to promote continuous improvement of PCORnet® and inform decisions about PCORI strategies and investments for PCORnet. PCORI is currently updating its evaluation plan for PCORnet, grounded in the Strategies to Leverage PCORnet to Advance PCORI’s National Priorities for Health and Evaluate PCORnet Performance

PCORI's Maturity Model for PCORnet®

The foundation for the updated evaluation plan is a Maturity Model which articulates PCORI’s goals for PCORnet at various stages of maturity. The Maturity Model will serve as the basis for developing PCORI’s Evaluation Framework for PCORnet and define the key evaluation questions to be answered about PCORnet progress and success, as well as the diverse metrics, methods and data sources needed to answer those questions.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Current monitoring and evaluation activities include:

  • A commissioned assessment of PCORnet user experience during Phase 3.
  • Periodic surveys of PCORI stakeholders to gauge awareness of and interest in PCORnet resources.
  • A PCORnet Dashboard developed by the Coordinating Center to monitor aspects of PCORnet progress and success toward serving as a national resource to support multi-network, patient-centered observational and interventional research.

View the PCORnet Dashboard

Posted: December 16, 2013; Updated: September 6, 2023

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails about opportunities to apply for funding, newly funded research studies and engagement projects, results of our funded research, webinars, and other new information posted on our site.

Subscribe to PCORI Emails


Hand pointing to email icon