National Grant For Center Researchers to Integrate Data from Over 21 Million Patients

Written by Robert Muschler, Masters of Public Administration candidate (2015), Sol Price School of Public Policy

Researchers at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at University of Southern California are a part of a team that has been awarded funding to create a stakeholder-governed network to integrate data from existing sources currently covering over 21 million patients. The Schaeffer Center and their partners were selected for this grant by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) which is an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to conduct research aimed at helping both patients and healthcare providers make informed decisions.

The newly created network called the patient-centered SCAlable National Network for Effectiveness Research (pSCANNER) will integrate data from the University of California Research eXchange (UCReX), VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI) and the SCAlable National Network from Effectiveness Research (SCANNER). Tapping these existing data bases with their proven success and effectiveness will allow for advances in the research capabilities of scholars, as well as improvements in outcomes for patients.

Researchers will utilize the networks capabilities to study Congestive Heart Failure, Kawasaki Disease, and Obesity. Patients, patient advocates, domain experts, health services research, clinicians and administrators from across the country have agreed to contribute to the governance of pSCANNER, as well as the prioritization of research questions.

By forming this network and allowing secure access of patient information to researchers across the country, strides can be made in these important fields of research. PCORI, the Schaeffer Center, and their many partners are focused on providing the high-quality data, research and analysis, that will be translated into better practices and outcomes for clinicians and patients alike. This most recent award is a testament to these goals and allows for another step to be taken toward alleviating the effects of these very serious health conditions, and improving the lives of those afflicted by them.