Agency Funding for Healthcare Research Could Benefit Hospital Medicine


David O. Meltzer, MD, PhD, MHM, wants hospitalists to take advantage of the recent announcement by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) that it intends to award $300 million by the end of this year, and more in the future. And if that means calling him directly, go for it.

Dr. Meltzer, chief of the section of hospital medicine at the University of Chicago, is a member of PCORI's methodology committee. He says in a question-and-answer session with The Hospitalist that PCORI could be a valuable resource and funding source for hospitalist researchers.

Question: What should hospitalists know about PCORI?

Answer: PCORI is focused on figuring out how to improve the effectiveness of healthcare, and it is placing a strong emphasis on the importance of engaging patients and other stakeholders in that process. Also, PCORI is trying to ensure that research recognizes the potential differences between patient subgroups, and even individual patients, to the maximum degree possible.

Q: Given PCORI's focus on outcomes, how can HM researchers pitch the type of projects that would be eligible for funding?

A: They should focus on questions that matter to patients, and engage diverse stakeholders and patients in identifying those questions.

Q: How helpful for the specialty is it to have a leading member involved with the institute?

A: PCORI is becoming an important funder of research in the United States, and I think all specialties need to know about it. PCORI is working hard to get the word out to all specialties, but I hope my colleagues in hospital medicine will feel free to call if I can help them interpret PCORI's guidance about how they can best engage with it. TH

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