October 9, 2018: New Recommendations for Engaging Patients in Roles Other Than as Research Subjects

A panel funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently published recommendations for the oversight of patients who participate in research roles other than as “research subject.” Patients and caregivers participate in many roles, such as co-investigators, study personnel, and advisors in research studies, and this creates novel ethical and regulatory challenges. The panel provides a taxonomy for these roles and recommendations for appropriate oversight. The group also provides recommendations about identifying and engaging a diverse mix of patients and developing mechanisms to protect against possible conflicts of interest. Finally, given the ubiquity of mobile health and other emerging technologies for use by patients, the recommendations provide guidance about the inclusion of these technologies in patient-centered outcomes research, with specific attention to education, best practices, and appropriate privacy protections.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Califf expressed his support for the panel’s efforts and their taxonomy for patients in patient-centered outcomes research:

“Given the persistent gap between the slow pace of research and the pressing need for high-quality evidence to guide practice in areas of clinical uncertainty on one hand, and the potential offered by more pragmatic, people-centered research methods on the other, we need positive approaches for making learning through research a routine part of clinical care rather than an exceptional event.”

 

August 28, 2018: ADAPTABLE Patient-Reported Health Data Codes Now Available

The ADAPTABLE pragmatic trial relies on patients to report key information at baseline and throughout follow-up. To capture these data, ADAPTABLE investigators developed a LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes) patient-reported item set, which is now publicly available.

The development of the item set is part of the ADAPTABLE Supplement, an initiative funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to develop best practices for capturing patient-reported outcome data and optimal analytic approaches for using the data in a pragmatic clinical trial. Additional reference material can be found in the ADAPTABLE Supplement Roundtable Meeting summary, in a report describing the results of a literature review of data standards and metadata standards for variables of interest, and on GitHub. The project is expected to inform future efforts to integrate patient-reported data in the electronic health record and provide opportunities to streamline data for use in pragmatic trials. Information from the project is being added to the Living Textbook as it accumulates; learn more in the chapters on Using Electronic Health Record Data and Choosing and Specifying End Points and Outcomes.

ADAPTABLE (Aspirin Dosing: A Patient-Centric Trial Assessing Benefits and Long-Term Effectiveness) aims to identify the optimal dose of aspirin therapy for secondary prevention in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and is the first major randomized comparative effectiveness trial to be conducted by the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet).

March 15, 2018: New Resource for Understanding Ethical and Regulatory Architecture of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Data

Using patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) data requires balancing the need for sufficient private health information to support meaningful research with the need to protect patient privacy and autonomy. In support of this dual goal, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has just released a document that provides a collection of tools and resources aimed at helping a broad audience of stakeholders understand the ethical and regulatory requirements related to collecting, using, sharing, and disclosing PCOR data.

“An architecture is necessary to ensure patient privacy is protected and health information is appropriately secured during collection, access, use, and disclosure as required by law, regulation, and/or policy.” —Legal and Ethical Architecture for PCOR Data

PCOR data will help expand the evidence base for therapies and improve health outcomes for individual patients.

Read the full document: Legal and Ethical Architecture for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Data (“Architecture”)

The document is divided into 5 chapters:

Chapter 1: Overview of Legal and Ethical Architecture for PCOR Data provides background for the project and an overview of key ethical and regulatory requirements.

Chapter 2: Legal and Ethical Significance of Data for PCOR describes fundamental concepts for organizing data into categories such that legal and ethical frameworks can be applied. The chapter includes key considerations and types of data relevant to PCOR, such as clinical, administrative, patient-generated, etc.

Chapter 3: Linking Legal and Ethical Requirements to PCOR Data organizes the relevant legal provisions according to the key data considerations outlined in Chapter 2: identifiability, subject, source, access and use/purpose, consent/authorization, security, and legal status.

Chapter 4: Framework for Navigating Legal and Ethical Requirements for PCOR is designed as a decision tool that builds on the key data considerations described in Chapters 2 and 3. The goal of this chapter is to help researchers determine whether laws apply to particular data and if so, what requirements to attach to their collection and use.

Chapter 5: Mapping Research Flows to Legal Requirements identifies 6 hypothetical use cases, identifies decision trigger points, and maps representative data flows to the relevant legal requirements.

 

March 14, 2018: Public Input on Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Due April 1

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is requesting information to help inform a competition in the fall to develop and implement user-friendly technical tools for the collection of patient-reported outcome (PRO) data. The AHRQ is interested in learning about experiences with physical function PRO measures that are currently in use in ambulatory care settings, including primary and secondary care, as well as the methods used to collect these data. The information will be used to select physical function measures for the competition, which aims to bolster collection and integration of PRO data in the electronic health record by developing and piloting new, user-friendly tools. Responses can be emailed to Janey.hsiao@ahrq.hhs.gov and are due April 1, 2018.

March 7, 2018: FDA Offers Workshop on Submitting Draft Guidance on Patient Experience Data

The FDA is conducting a public workshop on Monday, March 19, to obtain input from stakeholders—including patients, patient advocates, academic and medical researchers, expert practitioners, drug developers, and other interested persons—to inform the drafting of a patient-focused drug development guidance as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. Workshop attendees will discuss considerations for development and submission of a proposed draft guidance regarding patient experience data submitted by an external stakeholder. The guidance is intended to help stakeholders continue progress in developing new medicines to respond to patient’s needs.

Registration for the event, either in person or via a live webcast, ends March 12. More meeting details, including background materials, will be posted by FDA as available.

February 28, 2018: New Meeting Summary Examines How to Integrate Patient‐Reported Health Data for Pragmatic Research

A recently released summary from the ADAPTABLE Roundtable Meeting explores ways to better understand the sets of circumstances and considerations that could guide when and how to gather and integrate patient-reported health data with other data sources in pragmatic trials.

For outcomes that represent subjective experiences, such as pain, symptoms, and physical functioning, the patient is the unique and privileged source of information. Other patient-reported health data may not have a clear source of truth, such as co-morbidities and hospitalizations. In such cases, patient-reported health data may supplement, contradict, or agree with EHR and claims data. For example, medication data reported by patients might be a more accurate reflection of what patients are actually taking than medication data in the EHR, especially for over-the-counter medications.

Patient-reported health data come from various sources and can be feasibly collected in the conduct of a pragmatic clinical trial, but the optimal approaches for capturing and analyzing these data are unclear. Questions include how to integrate this information with other data collected as part of a study, including data from the EHR.

To better understand patient-reported health data and how to use them in pragmatic trials, 18 experts from 8 institutions convened at the roundtable meeting, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds including biostatistics, epidemiology, oncology, nursing, psychiatry, health policy, and regulation. Representatives from the NIH Collaboratory included Drs. Lesley Curtis and Rachel Richesson from the EHR Core and Dr. Kevin Weinfurt from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Core.

In addition to the meeting summary, two white papers are forthcoming. For more information about using patient-reported data in pragmatic trials, see the Living Textbook Chapter on Endpoints and Outcomes.

This effort was funded by Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a supplement provided to the NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center.

January 22, 2018: AHRQ Announces Competition to Develop Patient-Reported Outcomes Tools

Patient-reported outcome (PRO) data are critical for informing patient-centered care and patient-centered outcomes research, although they are not commonly collected in routine care, and are often not available for use in clinical care or research. To counter this problem, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced an upcoming competition to develop tools to collect and integrate PRO data in electronic health records and other health IT products. During this multi-phase Challenge Competition in the fall of 2018, developers will be asked to create user-friendly application programming interfaces (APIs) and other tools that can be used to collect physical function data in ambulatory care settings based on specifications provided by AHRQ. The tools will enable PRO data to be shared more easily and regularly with clinicians and researchers.

January 17, 2018: The “All of Us” Research Program Asks for Research Ideas

The groundbreaking “All of Us” research program, which aims to enroll and track more than a million people, is asking prospective researchers, community organizations, and citizen scientists for suggestions regarding potential research questions. Ideas can be submitted through a special research page and are due by February 23, 2018. At a Research Priorities Workshop in March 2018, meeting attendees will use the input to set research priorities that will drive the development of the All of Us research platform and associated tools.

New White Paper from Collaboratory PRO Core on the Impact of Patient-Reported Outcomes on Clinical Practice

Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures are often used in pragmatic clinical trials to assess endpoints that are meaningful to stakeholders. These measures may also support patient care, although there is mixed evidence about effects of PROs on (1) improved patient-provider communication, clinical decision-making, and patient satisfaction; (2) enhanced patient outcomes; and (3) helped ensure better quality of care from a healthcare systems perspective. In a new white paper from the Collaboratory Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) Core, the available evidence in the literature is examined to determine when PROs have the potential to provide added value to patient care.

The full text of the white paper can be found here: Impact of Patient-Reported Outcomes on Clinical Practice_V1.0

Blueprint for Establishing a National Research Cohort Moves Forward


On September 17, the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group presented to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins a detailed design framework to advance the creation of a national, large-scale research cohort for developing more effective treatments tailored to individuals. The framework makes recommendations on cohort assembly, participant engagement, data, biological specimens, policy, and governance. The recommendations are based on a set of high-value scientific opportunities that were identified by the working group following extensive stakeholder engagement.

The NIH plans to move quickly to build the infrastructure so that participants can begin enrolling in the cohort in 2016, with a goal of enrolling at least 1 million participants in 3 to 4 years. Visit the NIH News & Events website for more details.