2019 Annual Report: Fostering Collaboration to Improve Pragmatic Trials

The DCRI’s Myles Wolf, MD, MMSc, is exploring how to best manage blood phosphate levels in patients receiving dialysis through the HiLo trial—one of six large-scale pragmatic clinical trials from across the U.S. that were added to the portfolio of innovative Demonstration Projects this year by the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory program (NIH Collaboratory).

Since becoming the coordinating center for the NIH Collaboratory at its inception in 2012, the DCRI has been working with the NIH to advance pragmatic clinical trials embedded in health care systems. The Demonstration Projects supported by the Collaboratory have access to support and resources, as well as a network of investigators conducting other pragmatic trials who share pitfalls and solutions during regular meetings.

The Collaboratory was formed to offer a testing ground for pragmatic trials and to create a new infrastructure for collaborative research within health systems. Developed by the NIH Common Fund and administered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Collaboratory has delivered on its mission by supporting 15 innovative Demonstration Projects. Six of these awards were announced over the past year, including the DCRI-led HiLo. The Demonstration Projects encompass 1,200 clinical sites across 90 percent of the U.S. and include more than 752,000 active subjects.

The DCRI shares the Collaboratory’s activities via methods including publications, Grand Rounds, training workshops, and an innovative website called the Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. The Living Textbook offers a growing and continually updated set of resources to guide stakeholders in research that engages health care delivery organizations as partners.

This year, a new group of Demonstration Projects will be added to the NIH Collaboratory portfolio. The projects, which will explore pain management and opioid prescribing, will be supported by a project called Resource Coordinating Center for Pragmatic and Implementation Studies to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM), which is funded by the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative (NIH HEAL Initiative). The work of the Collaboratory will continue to be led by three DCRI co-investigators: Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS; Lesley Curtis, PhD; and Kevin Weinfurt, PhD.

This article originally appeared in the DCRI’s 2018-2019 Annual Report. View more articles from this publication.