ONC grant to drive patient-centered outcomes research

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation are partnering to lead a cross-departmental effort to identify strategic opportunities for building a comprehensive, interoperable and sustainable data infrastructure for patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). ONC has awarded a contract to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to assist with this effort.

During this effort NORC will be assembling multiple advisory groups to explore different standards, policies and services required to establish this infrastructure. In addition, ONC will be posting documents from this effort for public input.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 directs the Department of Health and Human Services to build data capacity for PCOR, and makes available a cumulative estimated total of almost $200 million through FY 2019 for this purpose via the Office of the Secretary's Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund.

Jodi G. Daniel, JD, MPH, director of the ONC’s Office of Policy and Planning, discussed the contract during the June 5 HIT Policy Committee Meeting. “ONC is trying to figure out the best way to lay out the groundwork, look for strategic opportunities and create a blueprint in how to set forth an infrastructure to support all the efforts of the grants. Follow along as we start putting things out.”

Daniel said the work to create an infrastructure for PCOR is slated to be a 10-month project and the office expects to release its final report in early 2014. That report will be used to help direct other activities “to make sure we have an infrastructure in place to support PCOR.”