PCORI’s unique approach to research funding centers on engaging patients, caregivers, clinicians, insurers and other members of the healthcare community in all aspects of our work. The goal is to support research that will provide reliable, useful information to help people make informed healthcare decisions and improve patient care and outcomes.
We employ two approaches to identifying research questions to study. We issue broad calls for research proposals based on investigators’ best ideas in our priority areas. We also issue targeted funding announcements to address questions selected through our topic generation and research prioritization process. Much of this targeted research is conducted as pragmatic clinical studies, which usually are larger-scale, set in real-life care situations, and include more diverse patient groups than traditional trials. Our National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda is the roadmap guiding all of our work.
We primarily fund comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, studies that compare the benefits and harms of two or more approaches to health care. The particular type of CER we support, patient-centered outcomes research, or PCOR, focuses on outcomes that patients tell us are important. Our awardees use various models of research in carrying out their studies.
Another crucial part of our work is developing and improving methods of patient-centered CER. As part of that effort, PCORI’s Methodology Committee has developed a set of standards for all of the research we fund. These standards represent baseline practices in planning, design, and conducting studies, ensuring patient-centeredness, and engaging patients throughout the research process.
We encourage collaboration with other research funders as a way to influence others to support patient-centered outcomes studies. Collaboration also can leverage expertise across the research community to maximize the impact of PCORI investments.
As proponents of evidence-based practice, we’re eager to learn what works best to ensure that the research we fund produces useful information that leads to improved health outcomes. Learn how we are monitoring our progress toward our goals. Through our evaluation activities, we also discover how we can improve our work and assess the impact of our patient-centered approach.
- Compares at least two alternative healthcare options
- Focuses on outcomes that are meaningful to patients
- Engages patients and other stakeholders at every stage
- Studies benefits and harms of care delivered in real-world settings
- Adheres to PCORI’s Methodology Standards
- Is likely to improve current clinical practice
- Conditions that heavily burden patients, families, and/or the healthcare system
- Chronic or multiple conditions
- Rare and understudied conditions
- Conditions with varied outcomes across subpopulations