1801 NW 9th Ave., Ste. 470
Miami, FL 33136
Electronic Primary Care Research Network
In order for the clinical research enterprise to remain successful, new partnerships with primary care providers who deliver the majority of care to the US population need to be developed. These partnerships should enhance the ability of investigators to conduct research, as well as facilitate delivery to clinicians of better tools to provide care. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are a fundamental tool for new discovery. Although potentially rich sources of patients and data, primary care practices have not traditionally been sites for RCTs. Reasons for this include difficulty identifying subjects, delivery of complex interventions, privacy, confidentiality, and human subjects protection issues. However, emerging technologies and methodologies can now overcome these obstacles. Introduction of open-source technology using very high speed backbone networking allows greater functionality, security, and communication, and permits the integration of primary physicians and their practice populations into the clinical research enterprise, and substantially enhances the potential for the performance of RCTs.
The South Florida PBRN (SoFla-PBRN) is one of the first primary care research networks to participate in the electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN).
The ePCRN is a program that allows primary care practices to link with researchers conducting clinical research anywhere in the United States. The program is funded by the Roadmap Initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and administered by the Federation of Practice-Based Research Networks (FPBRN). The FPBRN provides this electronic tool to member Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) to facilitate the participation of private practices in clinical research trials. The ePCRN provides secure, cutting-edge technology, training, support and technical assistance to its participating physicians.
The principal aim of this project is to enable the development of an electronic infrastructure that facilitates the recruitment of subjects and the performance of randomized clinical trials in primary care practices anywhere in the United States, and that promotes the rapid integration of new research findings into primary care. The specific technical objectives of ePCRN are to provide a web-portal that enables primary care practices to link with researchers in academic centers or the NIH to facilitate recruitment, entry, and follow-up of multidisciplinary randomized controlled trials; to establish a clinic-based registry in primary care using distributed database technology that interfaces with the web portal solution in order to enhance the process of clinical trials recruitment and the translation of research findings into practice and finally to use Internet2 components for enhanced functionality and communication.
All members of the South Florida Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network (SoFla-PBRN) are invited to join the ePCRN. There is no cost to participate and the only requirements are internet access and a Windows 2000 or newer operating system.
For more information on the ePCRN, visit http://www.epcrn.org/