The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the nonprofit corporation tasked with advancing comparative clinical effectiveness research, recently released two funding announcements to support Phase II of its effort to create a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, or PCORnet.

PCORnet is intended to be a national network providing wide access to health data for clinical outcomes research.  PCORI envisions the resource as fostering “a range of observational and experimental CER” through data gathered “in ‘real time’ and in ‘real world’ settings, such as clinics.”  PCORnet is currently made up of 29 health system and patient-based networks that collect and store data in standardized and interoperable formats.  Phase I of the initiative began in March 2014 and will run to September 2015.  Phase II is intended to promote various goals including those related to governance, standardization of data, embedded support for clinical trials, and financial sustainability.  PCORnet will also begin supporting research in this Phase.

Infrastructure funding of $81.25 million will be available for up to 13 Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs).  CDRNs are based in healthcare systems such as hospitals, practice-based networks, and health plans and collect data during routine patient care.  An additional $26.4 million will be available for up to 22 Patient Powered Research Networks (PPRNs), which are operated and governed by patient groups and focused on specific conditions such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, or other conditions.  Funding will be authorized for up to three years and letters of intent are due by January 15.