The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) conducts multi-site preparatory to research (PTR) queries, which lead to observational research studies and clinical trials using data that have been standardized across 80 Network Partners (NPs) into a Common Data Model (CDM), which allows a single analytic program to ask the same question of all NPs. Utilizing a distributed research network (DRN) such as PCORnet, requires in-depth knowledge of the CDM, the underlying partner data, and best practices in analytic programming so that a query will execute across 80 contributing NPs with diverse computing infrastructures. To help potential users navigate this complexity, the PCORnet Coordinating Center (CC) operates a “Front Door,” which provides a number of intake services, including requests for data. The Front Door formalizes such requests into research questions, which are then operationalized by the analytic team into PTR or research queries. The CC has supported dozens of PTR questions and 3 PCORnet Demonstration Projects, including the PCORnet Bariatric Study (PBS). This panel will describe how research questions are turned into PTR or complex study queries within PCORnet, and will include perspectives from CC personnel as well as study investigators.

Learning Objective 1: Describe the PCORnet Coordinating Center role in answering questions in the Distributed Research Network

Learning Objective 2: Describe the PCORnet Front Door, Common Data Model, and analytics role in supporting both PTR and observational research


Jessica Sturtevant (Presenter)
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

Darcy Louzao (Presenter)
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Keith Marsolo (Presenter)
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Kathleen McTigue (Presenter)
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Lesley Curtis (Presenter)
Duke Clinical Research Institute

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