Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead: Report from the OCHIN Safety Net West Practice-based Research Network (PBRN)

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Abstract

Introduction

We recently completed a strategic planning process to better understand the development of our 5-year-old practice-based research network (PBRN) and to identify gaps between our original vision and current progress. Although many of our experiences are not new to the PBRN community, our reflections may be valuable for those developing or reshaping PBRNs in a changing health care environment.

Lessons Learned

We learned about the importance of (1) shared vision and commitment to a unique patient population; (2) strong leadership, mentorship, and collaboration; (3) creative approaches to engaging busy clinicians and bridging the worlds of academia and community practice; and (4) harnessing data from electronic health records and navigating processes related to data protection, sharing, and ownership.

Challenges Ahead

We must emphasize research that is timely, relevant, and integrated into practice. One model supporting this goal involves a broader partnership than was initially envisioned for our PBRN—one that includes clinicians, researchers, information architects, and quality improvement experts partnering to develop an innovation center. This center could facilitate development of relevant research questions while also addressing “quick-turnaround” needs.

Conclusions

Gaps remain between our PBRN′s initial vision and current reality. Closing these gaps may require future creativity in building partnerships and finding nontraditional funding sources.

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