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PPRNet - Primary (Care) Practices Research Network

Current Research

  1) Research Centers in Primary Care Practice Based Research and Learning
(08/1/2012 - 07/31/2017) Principal Investigator: Steve Ornstein, MD, Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine.
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

The goal of this project is to expand the PPRNet research team with investigators that research care for the underserved and patient activation, improve our readiness to respond to a broad scope of rapid cycle funding announcements planned for RCPC, and further enhance our infrastructure and activities for disseminating and implementing research findings through our current mission, will be enhanced using several approaches: clinical performance reports, network meetings, practice site visits, our web page, and web 2.0 applications comprising webinars and social media tools.

A strong primary health care system is needed to improve our nation’s well-being, and research in primary care is both relatively under-developed and critical. This project is intended to further develop the infrastructure of PPRNet, a long-standing successful practice-based primary care research network, and enhance its ability to conduct research critical for helping improve our primary healthcare system.


2) Translating Medication Safety Research into Primary Care Practice – Reducing ADEs from Anticoagulants, Diabetes Agents and Opioids
(10/01/2014 - 9/30/2017) Principal Investigator: Andrea Wessell, PharmD, Research Associate Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine.
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

The goal of this project is to engage primary care patients, caregivers, providers and practice staff to help define quality measures for ADEs and actionable, preventive strategies that can be broadly implemented in primary care practices


3) Reducing Overuse in Primary Care through Safe and Effective Health Information Technology
(9/30/2015 – 9/29/2018) Principal Investigator: Cara Litvin, MD, Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

The products of Aim 1 will help better assess the epidemiology of overuse in primary care and serve as tools to help clinicians reduce overuse. The findings from Aim 2 will lead to new evidence on strategies for using HIT safely and effectively in the primary care setting to reduce overuse and improve patient safety. The goals of this project are directly aligned with AHRQ’s priority areas of focus to make health care safer and improve health care affordability and efficiency. The findings from this project will be applicable to the tens of thousands of primary care providers who have adopted EHRs in the United States.


4) Improving CKD management in Primary Care

We will likely be funded by the NIH to conduct another new project to improve chronic kidney disease (CKD) management in primary care. This is a follow up to the recently completed CKD-TRIP project to test whether practice-based quality improvement strategies such as better use of health information technology, increased team-based care, and improved care coordination with nephrologists, can improve adherence to CKD clinical practice guidelines.We will randomly allocate participating practices to an “intervention” or “control” group for this 18-month study.  Both “intervention” and “control” practices will receive performance reports on adherence to a set of CKD clinical quality measures (CQM).

“Intervention” practices will participate in several additional activities intended to improve CKD care, including:

  1. Participation in one half day on-site meetings attended by all clinicians and clinical staff members to review current performance on CKD CQM, learn about CKD clinical practice guidelines, specific practice-based strategies that may improve care, and consider developing a plan for implementing these strategies
  2. Participation in at least 2 follow-up webinars through the course of the study to continue to re-assess performance and consider additional improvement planning
  3. Send one clinician and one clinical staff member to participate in a one-day “best practice” meeting held in Charleston SC in summer 2017 to share and learn successful strategies with other practices

*CURRENTLY RECRUITING- Please contact Dr. Litvin @ by April 29th, 2016 if you're interested in participating or have any questions (*Please note CKD-TRIP intervention practices are not eligible to participate)


5) A Virtual Learning Collaborative for Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention and Treatment in Primary Care 

A new PPRNet project assessing internet based clinician and clinical staff education for alcohol misuse screening and treatment will likely soon be funded.  The study will be a group randomized controlled clinical trial.   Practices will be randomized either to an intervention group which will participate in the internet based education (termed a learning collaborative) or to a control group which will not. 

Advantages of participating in this project for all are:

  • A modest financial incentive plus research practice rates for your PPRNet membership.
  • Opportunity to help identify more efficient means for clinician and staff education
  • Opportunity to help improve care for the 30% of American adults with alcohol misuse.

For practices randomized to the intervention group, other advantages are:

  • Continuing education credit.
  • Education/ training for your clinicians and staff.
  • Support for practice improvement from an experienced team of alcohol and primary care clinicians through educational materials, webinars, podcasts and discussions
  • Interaction with like-minded peers, who can help each other overcome barriers through shared experiences
  • A PPRNet project that does not require half-day site visits or travel away from home for meetings

*CURRENTLY RECRUITING- Please contact Dr. Nemeth @ by April 29th, 2016 if you're interested in participating or have any questions


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