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Abstract - Final – Jun. 28, 2010

Developing a Distributed Research Network to Conduct Population-based Studies and Safety Surveillance - Phase 1

Topic Abstract

Background: The use, cost, breadth, and depth of new medical technologies are growing rapidly, and health care stakeholders continue to seek emerging information about their relative risks and benefits. In order to understand the “real world” effects of medical interventions, there is a need to make better use of available health care data for clinical and comparative effectiveness studies, safety studies, and to assess treatment outcomes. The growing sources of electronic health information create opportunities for developing new approaches to research and a capacity for studies to be carried out in shorter timeframes. By building new capacities to use available health data, information that is essential for consumer and clinical decisionmaking can be linked to the deployment of new interventions and innovations.

Objectives/Research Question: The overall aims of the projects are to develop and pilot test a federated computer network prototype that supports the secure analyses of health information across multiple organizations in order to study the clinical effectiveness of various medical therapies, including their risks, therapeutic effects, and other outcomes. The long-term goal of this initiative is to develop a coordinated partnership of multiple research networks that provide secured health information that can be quickly queried and analyzed for conducting comparative effectiveness and safety research.

Methods: The development of the network prototype and implementation of the proof of principle research project will take place in six health plans. Simulated data will be used in some cases to test the network. The research project will merge data from both electronic medical records and administrative claims data. This work is intended to inform the development of a larger multi-purpose distributed research network that will include both private and public partners.

Expected Outputs: Four scientific reports.

Completed Outputs: