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Patient-Centered Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research in Essential Hospitals

In February 2017, the Essential Hospitals Institute began an 18-month project to explore whether and to what extent hospitals use patient-centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) to improve care delivery.

The project is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards and will support activities to gather information from essential hospitals about their use of PCOR/CER information. In addition, the contract will determine appropriate ways to share this evidence with patients to aid decision-making.

There is a great need for more evidence on the use and implementation of PCOR/CER approaches within essential hospitals. Understanding what works best and sharing that broadly will improve care for all patients.

Using a mix of methods, including qualitative and quantitative data and deliberative processes, this project seeks to:

  • understand how essential hospitals view the utility of PCOR/CER in their work, implementation activities, and future needs;
  • develop a landscape review of the use of PCOR/CER by essential hospitals;
  • identify barriers to the widespread adoption of PCOR/CER initiatives in the association’s member hospitals;
  • build a road map for essential hospitals to overcome these barriers and to enable mass adoption of PCOR/CER; and
  • disseminate the road map to promote PCOR/CER integration.

This project will be the first to understand in depth the unique challenges and opportunities of PCOR/CER use by hospitals with a safety-net role. Vulnerable patients face many social and economic barriers to successful care outcomes, Essential hospitals’ long experience serving this population will be invaluable in building a base of evidence for wider adoption of patient-centered approaches.

Next Steps

In the long term, this initiative will lead to development of channels and networks for disseminating and implementing PCOR/CER findings while engaging patients, clinicians, hospitals administrators, policymakers, and payers. The Institute also hopes to use the project to build a skilled community of patients, caregivers, and health care providers among essential hospitals.


If you have questions about this project or want to learn more, contact Director of Research Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, at


About the Author

Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

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