Primary Care / Health Services Research : South Florida Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network

South Florida Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network

Practice-based researching represents a mechanism for systematically collaborating with a cadre of community-based practitioners to define and accomplish a community-relevant research agenda and to organize a training infrastructure that advances the clinical and translational goals of the medical institution. Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) are unique conduits for expeditiously acquiring samples of patients in primary care practices, representing critical mechanisms with which to advance research goals in primary care practices while also building the knowledge base of the medical discipline of Family Medicine. In its 1996 report, which remains a seminal report for the evolution of all primary medical specialties in the United States, the Institute of Medicine described PBRNs as “the most promising infrastructural development that it could find to support better science in primary care.” Based on data acquired by the Federation of Practice-Based Research Networks (FPBRN),

The South Florida Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network (SoFla-PBRN) includes primary care, community-based physicians and other health care providers in medical offices located in the four counties of South Florida (Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm) and Martin County further north. Physicians in other Florida locations, including Gainesville, Tallahassee and Jacksonville, have participated in SoFla-PBRN studies. Physicians in the SoFla-PBRN contribute to defining the network’s research agenda, advise research methodologists regarding the feasibility of proposed protocols, recruit patients for studies, collect data from records and patients and participate in brief quarterly meetings. Physician activities are designed to require the minimum of disruption to physicians’ patient flow, a minimum of demand on physicians’ time with maximum benefit to the quality of their patient care. Physicians provide critical context to the results of data analyses and reflect on the significance of research results with regard to the process and quality of care they provide to their patients in their practices.