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The paradigm of medical research is shifting as physician-scientists are not only relying on data and statistics, but also people, when determining which treatments would best serve a patient population. The newly formed BWH Biomedical Research Institute's (BRI) Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Research Center (PCERC) hosted an inaugural seminar on Jan. 28, as part of a monthly series that brings researchers together to discuss research findings, methods and policies related to patient-centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness.
Jerry Avorn, MD, chief of BWH's Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics in the Department of Medicine, presented to a full house in the Shapiro Boardroom, giving an overview of the complex, yet promising patient-centered outcomes research landscape.
The presentation encouraged clinicians, researchers and patients alike to contemplate what the "right dose" of patient-centeredness research is-a dose that balances the need to better integrate patient perspective into medical research while also maintaining scientific rigor.
Avorn shared his views on how patient-centered outcomes research can help improve patient care and contain health care costs. While displaying a graph of health care spending trends in seven major countries, Avorn noted that the U.S. population does not live longer than other high-income countries; however, it spends the most money on health care.
Some of Avorn's suggestions about sharing patient-centered effectiveness research with frontline patient care providers included interactive educational outreach to physicians, along with distributing educational materials to patients by their physicians.
"It is not enough to spend money performing patient-centered outcomes research," said Avorn. "We need to effectively communicate what we learn to physicians to motivate them to transform their practice."
The BRI Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Research Center aims to help improve the health of patients through population health management, conducting studies to compare the effectiveness of different health care interventions, and health care system redesign.
To learn more about BRI's Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Research Center or upcoming seminars, including a March 11 presentation by Partners HealthCare President and CEO Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, visit www.brighamandwomens.org/research/centers/pcerc/default.aspx.