Dr. Wolf on using PCORnet and PEDSnet as vehicles to "Ramp Up Your Research Process"

In the latest installment of his "CSO Connection" newsletter, Dr. Bryan Wolf, Chief Scientific Officer of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and PEDSnet Steering Board Member, highlighted the new Cornerstone blog post featuring Dr. Forrest and his roles in PCORnet and PEDSnet, as well as information on the networks' plans to open their "front door" to researchers. Full text of the newsletter entry follows.

Ramp Up Your Research Process

There's a national effort underway to make clinical research faster, cheaper, and better, and a familiar figure from CHOP is helping to chart its course. 

Chris Forrest, MD, PhD, is the inaugural chair of the research committee for PCORnet, the national patient-centered clinical research network that includes a population of up to 80 million Americans, including about 20 million children. PCORnet is able to address the diversity of populations to discover which treatments work best for which patients.

In a Q&A that appeared on our Research blog, Cornerstone, Dr. Forrest explained that the complexity of getting a study off the ground can at times bog down the research process, especially for multi-site studies. In his new role, Dr. Forrest wants PCORnet studies to accelerate discovery.

"Faster means that from the moment the project starts to when the first patient is enrolled is a shorter period of time," Dr. Forrest said. "It means that recruitment is done more quickly. It means that, once results are available, they're disseminated more rapidly. By moving faster, that leads to less expensive clinical research, and that means you can do more." 

One way that PCORnet studies streamline the process is by using electronic means to contact, enroll, and engage with patients, and to collect outcomes data. Patients enroll and go through the informed consent process online, and their electronic health records are linked into the research. In addition, patient engagement is a key part of designing and conducting the studies as well as disseminating and implementing the research findings. 

PCORnet was launched in 2014 and has grown to include 13 clinical data research networks and 20 patient-powered research networks (PPRNs). Dr. Forrest is principal investigator of one of these component networks, PEDSnet, which brings together data from eight children's hospitals including CHOP to advance pediatric clinical research. Kate Sullivan, MD, PhD, at CHOP, leads one of the PPRNs focused on immunodeficiency. In addition, Peter Merkel, MD, MPH, the chief of rheumatology at Penn, runs a PPRN focused on vasculitis.

PEDSnet will be opening its front door and accepting proposal concepts in early May, and PCORnet will be accepting research concepts in June. Get ready to ramp up your research! 

Source: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia "CSO Connection" Newsletter