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ROCC News & Updates

January 2020

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Congress Reauthorizes PCORI for 10 Years; PCORI Announces New Executive Director

In late 2019, Congress passed legislation that included a provision to reauthorize funding for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for an additional 10 years. In a released statement, PCORI acknowledges, “reauthorization ensures that PCORI has the resources to continue funding new implementation projects, which employ practical strategies and approaches to get useful research findings taken up more quickly in a variety of care settings.”

PCORI announced that Nakela Cook, MD, MPH, has been named its new Executive Director, and will assume the role on April 15th. In a statement released by AAMC, Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney, Jr., MD, said, “The AAMC congratulates Dr. Nakela Cook on her appointment as the next executive director of PCORI. As a physician, comparative effectiveness researcher, and administrator, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help ensure the institute is dynamic in addressing the needs of patients, clinicians, and other health care stakeholders and continues to flourish.”

Panel Identifies Need for Improved Implementation of Preventive Services and Reduced Health Disparities

A panel of independent experts convened by the NIH “recommends enhanced research to assess and address disparities in access to health care and use of clinical services that help prevent disease.” In its news release, the NIH also referenced the publication of the panel’s report, which “identified 26 recommendations for addressing research gaps related to patient and provider barriers and the role of health information technology and health care systems in the implementation of preventive services.”

AHRQ Launches the Division of Digital Healthcare Research

In an AHRQ Views blog post, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Director Gopal Khanna, MBA, announced the launch of the Division of Digital Healthcare Research. He writes, “The term ‘digital healthcare’ applies to activities involving the transfer of information between patient and provider throughout the entire patient journey, as well as the intelligent use of all related data. Given the possibilities that lie within that expansive landscape, there is a pressing need for new, energetic research initiatives to explore how the evolving digital healthcare ecosystem can best advance the quality, safety, and effectiveness of healthcare for patients and their families.”

Academic Medical Centers Lead the Way on Telehealth

A new AAMC Data Snapshot that analyzed data from the American Hospital Association on telehealth implementation shows that large and very large teaching hospitals have the highest adoption rates for telehealth services. Academic medical centers also lead the pack in the diversity of services available by telemedicine including post-discharge, chronic care management, and psychiatry visits.


What Can Patient Safety Teach Us About Clinician Burnout?

An Annals of Internal Medicine article presents lessons learned from 20 years of research and implementation of patient safety interventions and asks, “can lessons learned from improving patient safety be applied to reducing clinician burnout?”.

Moving Toward Evidence-Based Policy: The Value of Randomization for Program and Policy Implementation

This JAMA viewpoint argues: “Consideration of randomization should be the norm for policy and program rollouts because there are ethical and scientific imperatives to ensure that new interventions work and do not cause unintended harm.”


Medical Professionalism in An Organizational Age: Challenges and Opportunities

This article, published in Health Affairs, highlights changes to the medical practice structure over the last two decades, and explores “strategies for ensuring the relevance of professionalism” amid the new practice environment.

Research into Low Value Care on the Rise

A recent Washington Post story describes the cascade of unnecessary tests and treatments that often occur following an incidental clinical finding, leading to massive excess costs, stress, and even harm for patients. According to a literature analysis by the Research Community on Low-Value Care, the number of research studies aimed at identifying this low value care is increasing, and studies to implement effective solutions are rising at an even greater rate.

Get Involved

Request for Information: Inclusion Across the Lifespan II Workshop

Feb. 15 – Deadline to submit comments to the NIH regarding a follow-up workshop on increasing the inclusion of older and pediatric patients in research studies involving human subjects to be held September 2-3, 2020 on the NIH campus and by livestream. The NIH is soliciting topics to be covered in the workshop, which will have an added focus on underrepresented populations. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provided more information about the RFI in a recent blog post.

Request for Information: Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting from Federally Funded Research

Mar. 6 – Deadline to respond to a request from the Office of Science Technology Policy for comments on the draft “set of desirable characteristics of data repositories used to locate, manage, share, and use data resulting from Federally funded research subject to agency Public Access Plans.”


The AAMC Comments on the NIH Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy

In a letter responding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) request for information (RFI) on a draft policy for data management and sharing for NIH-funded research, the AAMC expressed support for data sharing and the integrations of data management into the research process.

The AAMC Submits Comments on “Cures 2.0”

The AAMC submitted a letter to Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo) and Fred Upton (R-Mich) in response to their announcement about “Cures 2.0.” The bipartisan effort intends to “build upon the success of the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L.114-255), and specifically focuses on four key areas of interest including exploring digital health technologies; reforming Medicare coding, coverage, and payment to better support patients’ access to innovative therapies; harnessing data to empower patients and improve health; and improving the ability of families and caregivers to support their loved ones.”


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