From Comparative Effectiveness Research to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Integrating Emergency Care Goals, Methods, and Priorities

Federal legislation has catapulted comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcome research to the arena of health policy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines comparative effectiveness research as comparing both benefits and harms of different interventions, and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions in “real world” settings.

This article defines comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research, articulating key concepts. The article explores the use of comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research in the context of emergency care, offering a conceptual framework that considers priority populations and conditions, “real world” settings, methods, outcome measures, and dissemination and translation.

Additionally, the article identifies current and future funding for comparative effectiveness research that can include emergency care and conditions. This includes the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the independent nonprofit institute created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will set national research priorities and sponsor research.

Emergency care often requires time-limited decision-making, which, the authors argue, make it a good candidate for comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research. Examining what, where, and when works best for whom can lead to improved integration of care.

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