PCORnet Highlighted in Recent Publications

PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, a PCORI initiative, was recently highlighted in two articles that underscore its increasing influence as a leader in the movement toward patient-centered research. The first was authored by PCORnet’s Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning (PORTAL) Clinical Data Research Network (CDRN) and published in Obesity. It explores the implications of mental illness on bariatric surgery outcomes. The second, a blog in Health Affairs authored by co-lead of PCORnet’s Distributed Research Network Operations Center Lesley Curtis, explains the transformative potential of PCORnet’s Common Data Model (CDM).

The piece contributed by PORTAL was published on April 25 in Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society. The article describes the research results of a cohort study examining whether patients with mental illness, particularly those with more severe mental illness, would have less weight loss and higher postoperative acute care use following bariatric surgery compared to patients with no mental illness. The study team, which compared electronic health record (EHR) data from more than 8,000 individuals who underwent bariatric surgery in 2012 and 2013 across several US healthcare systems, ultimately concluded that although a weight loss differential was not observed, those with mental illness were much more likely to require hospital use after surgery. This finding was important, as it underscores the need to explore supportive postoperative outreach for bariatric surgery patients with known mental illness to minimize risk of adverse health outcomes.

The Health Affairs blog authored by Curtis was published on June 6. It discusses how the power of electronic health records and administrative information, once stifled within “silos of babel” with limited ability to exchange information, is finally being unlocked with the use of PCORnet’s CDM. The CDM’s ability to successfully harmonize data across more than 130 diverse organizations representing more than 122 million individuals who had a medical encounter in the past five years is impressive. However, what makes PCORnet and its CDM truly revolutionary is its ability to connect key stakeholders, including patients, across the research process, allowing for important insights from Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs). In fact, Curtis argues that as we refine the CDM and enhance our ability to harness good quality, usable data from EHRs, health care will see a revolution that rivals the Internet’s impact on other industries.

Be on the lookout for more mentions of our innovative Network in the months to come!



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.

About PCORnet

PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is an innovative initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The goal of PCORnet is to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research by creating a large, highly representative network that directly involves patients in the development and execution of research. More information is available at www.pcornet.org.