Who we are?
The Patient-centered Comparative Effectiveness Research Center (PCERC) is the Brigham Research Institute’s newest Center. We were established as a resource for the comparative effectiveness research (CER) and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) community at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The mission of the PCERC is to: 1) Improve the health of patients through population management, comparative effectiveness and system redesign; 2) Bring the BWH CER/PCOR research community together under one umbrella to foster collaboration and innovation; and 3) Enable CER/PCOR researchers to be more successful at obtaining funding and conducting research.
What is CER and PCOR?
Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)
CER focuses on comparing existing health care interventions to identify which of the existing treatment options will work best for individual patients. By studying the effectiveness of these treatment options (drugs, medical devices, surgeries, healthcare delivery methods, etc.), researchers can determine their efficacy and safety in order to provide all healthcare stakeholders—patients, caregivers, physicians, hospital administrators, etc.—with the current best evidence.
The core question that CER seeks to answer is which treatment is best for certain best, for whom, and under what circumstances. Unlike tradition medical research—which typically compares one treatment option to a control group—CER compares specific treatment options to other available treatment options to determine which are safer and more effective.
By providing clear, impartial information, CER seeks to address medical questions for which there is insufficient or contradictory evidence. This evidence allows healthcare stakeholders to make decisions that improve the health outcomes of patients.
Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR)
PCOR is research that evaluates the outcomes of healthcare practices and seeks to help patients and their caregivers to be more involved in their healthcare and to make more informed decisions about their health outcomes. The goal of PCOR is to provide evidence on the decisions made by all healthcare stakeholders.
PCOR also takes into account the preferences, values, and experiences of individual patients or groups of patients and looks to address questions such as: “Will this treatment improve the quality of my life? Given my lifestyle and preferences, which options are best for me? How will the implications of a particular therapy affect my family?”
Why is this research important?
By examining the outcomes and efficacy of clinical treatments, researchers will be able to identify best practices for disease treatment. In partnership with patients, industry (drug and device manufacturers), clinicians, insurers and other stakeholders, researchers will be able to provide evidence-based information that will allow patients, caregivers and clinicians to make better-informed healthcare decisions.
While CER/PCOR can cover a broad spectrum of research, many of the researchers at BWH that work with our Center seek to improve the quality of healthcare through:
- Providing clear, impartial evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of available treatment options (drugs, medical devices, surgeries, etc.)
- Better informing both patients and physicians of this evidence
- Empowering patients to be more involved in decisions about their health and more proactive about their health outcomes
- Eliminating health disparities
- Reducing healthcare costs
This page was last modified on 5/5/2014