Home and Welcome: Background & Introduction
What is a PBRN and why do we need one?
Today, most information, knowledge, evidence and research about general health care
comes from large urban academic medical centers. Unfortunately, the
research and knowledge published through these large university settings frequently
do not translate to practical cost-efficient knowledge for primary care providers
that serve millions who live in underserved, low-income areas of the country.
Family Doctors, General Internists, Pediatricians, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians
Assistants seek evidence to answer their clinical questions and to improve the quality
of their care. These primary care questions often do not fit the research agenda
of large university settings.
Fortunately, Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) are forming. PBRN are
groups of providers that are based in communities rather than large universities.
Their mission is to investigate the process of primary care delivery and the diseases
seen in primary care and outpatient settings. PBRN frequently receive support
from larger research universities but they conduct studies of interest to
primary care practices. Usually
these studies are focused on local geographic communities but occasionally
they have national or even international implications. Though PBRN usually investigate
questions that benefit underserved populations, they are not limited to such
PBRNs are made up of primary care providers. However, they often include clinical
staff other than Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Examples
of other staff are Nurse Care managers, Certified Diabetes Educators,
Dietitians, Pharmacists, Family Therapists, Psychologists and Sex