Expanding Comparative Effectiveness Research in Nebraska

Comparative Effectiveness Research: A Definition.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has concisely defined Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) as research that provides evidence on the “effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options”. Research studies can generate data that compares drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care two ways.

The Need to Expand Comparative Effectiveness Research:

Comparative Effectiveness Research is rising in prominence in biomedical research for economic, research, and medical practice reasons. The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Institute of Medicine identified the need for further investigation and funding, particularly to focus on reducing health disparities and improving research dissemination. As a result, the Affordable Care Act through the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund created a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to authorize and fund research evaluating health outcomes of existing approved medical treatments.

Goals of the Program:

The program provides the infrastructure to better coordinate research and evidence into clinical practice required to compete for CER grants and mentor additional faculty to be successful in this type of research. This research, in turn, informs patients, providers, and decision-makers, responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances.  A secondary purpose is to improve health communications and health literacy through patient focused emphasis. The program:

Our work uses methods endorsed by the Institute of Medicine by creating a priority list for Comparative Effectiveness Research studies that includes the following: