September 7, 2018: NIH Collaboratory: Research Transformation in Progress (Adrian Hernandez MD, MHS, Kevin Weinfurt, PhD, Lesley Curtis, PhD)


Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS
Professor of Medicine
Vice Dean for Clinical Research
Duke University School of Medicine

Kevin Weinfurt, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University School of Medicine

Lesley H. Curtis, PhD
Chair and Professor
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University School of Medicine
Interim Executive Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute


NIH Collaboratory: Research Transformation in Progress


Clinical trials; Research studies; Healthcare delivery; Clinical care; embedded pragmatic clinical trials; ePCTs; Peer-reviewed journals; Demonstration projects; NIH funding

Key Points

  • The goal of the NIH Collaboratory is to strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies that engage healthcare delivery organizations as research partners.
  • Embedded pragmatic clinical trials bridge research into clinical care.
  • The NIH Collaboratory has contributed to 80 publications about embedded pragmatic trials in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Six new demonstration projects were recently added to the NIH Collaboratory portfolio:
    • Improving Advance Care Planning in Oncology: A Pragmatic, Cluster-Randomized Trial Integrating Patient Videos and Clinician Communication Training (ACP PEACE)
    • Pragmatic Trial of Higher vs. Lower Serum Phosphate Targets in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis (HiLo)
    • Guiding Good Choices for Health (GGC4H): Testing Feasibility and Effectiveness of Universal Parent-Focused Prevention in Three Healthcare Systems
    • Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (EMBED)
    • Personalized Patient Data and Behavioral Nudges to Improve Adherence to Chronic Cardiovascular Medications (Nudge)
      Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine (PRIM-ER)

Discussion Themes

The NIH Collaboratory is addressing many of the challenges and logistical barriers to conducting pragmatic clinical trials embedded in healthcare systems. There is still progress to be made in explaining the value and benefit of embedded PCTs (ePCTs) to healthcare leadership.

The NIH Collaboratory workshops have had a positive impact and have increased NIH’s interest in supporting the conduct of ePCTs.

Determining how pragmatic clinical trials can be conducted more routinely will be critical to their impact.



@texhern, @lmhcurtis, @PCTGrandRounds, #pctGR #ClinicalResearch, #researchstudies, #clinicaltrials, #clinicalcare, #peerreviewed

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