Kaiser Permanente & Strategic Partners Patient Outcomes Research To Advance Learning (PORTAL) Network

Details and Information

Visit the PORTAL Website

Organization: Kaiser Foundation Research Institute

Contact: [email protected] 

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator(s): Tracy A. Lieu, MD, MPH and Michael Kahn, MD, PhD


The Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning (PORTAL) network brings together three leading health care delivery systems (Kaiser Permanente, HealthPartners, and Denver Health) and their affiliated research centers along with patients, clinicians, and operational leaders to advance the infrastructure necessary to conduct comparative effectiveness research. We can produce information for patients and doctors that more closely reflects outcomes of real-world care provision and that ultimately should lead to improvements in the delivery of health care.

The PORTAL network has more than 12 million members enrolled in its delivery systems in nine states and the District of Columbia, with at least one site in each of the four major census regions. Our network offers a diverse patient population that reflects the characteristics of US residents. Our network demonstrates sufficient variation in practice patterns to enable observational comparative effectiveness studies. The delivery systems that form PORTAL are integrated and have mature electronic health records systems, which translates into dependable, comprehensive data capture.

The PORTAL network has successfully created scientifically sound cohorts of: (1) patients with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC); (2) adolescents and adults with severe congenital heart disease (CHD); and (3) adults who are overweight or obese, including those who have pre-diabetes or diabetes.  With these cohort sets providing a solid foundation, PORTAL sites are eager to add conducting pragmatic trials to their already extensive prior experience designing, conducting, and participating in clinical research.

Initial Network Use-Case

  • High Prevalence Cohort Clinical Condition: Colorectal cancer
  • Rare Disorder Clinical Condition: Severe congenital heart disease
  • Populations Covered by Initial Focus: Underserved, urban, rare disorders, children, geriatric, minority, disabled
Last updated on October 5, 2017