Minimizing the Burden of Practical Research: Case Studies from the NIH Collaboratory


In a forthcoming article in Healthcare, Dr. Eric Larson and colleagues present practical advice based on case studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. Physician–scientists, health services researchers, and delivery system leaders provide insight from their experience launching a pragmatic clinical trial (PCT) as part of the Collaboratory.

The authors make 5 recommendations:

  • Establish a partnership from the get-go
  • Do a pilot project
  • Take advantage of existing hospital and health system infrastructure
  • Minimize the impact on clinical workflow
  • Remember that even high-priority research questions must be balanced with the systems’ greatest priority: providing good healthcare to patients.

The authors note that researchers need to be flexible and prepared to adjust the study design to the workflow and culture of the system.

Reference: Larson E, Tachibana C, Thompson E, et al. Trials without tribulations: Minimizing the burden of pragmatic research on healthcare systems. Healthcare. 2015; in press. doi:10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.07.005

Watch Dr. Larson’s Grand Rounds Presentation from June 2013: Trials, Not Tribulations: Minimizing the Burden of Research on Health Care Systems