Building Research Culture and Capacity with Quality Improvement Strategies Project Summary In spite of the growing importance of practice-based research networks (PBRNs) as research vehicles in real-world settings, there is little infrastructure such as guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guide good research practice specific to the PBRN context. Building on recently-completed work in which PBRN leaders identified a core set of research best practices, the proposed demonstration project will engage PBRN interdisciplinary teams to develop and test SOPs that will define and streamline research processes. PBRN Directors and their network managers will participate in this demonstration project which will adapt quality improvement strategies well-known in healthcare settings to a novel context: that of the primary care PBRN. The quality improvement intervention will build research capacity by providing training, technical assistance and mentoring to PBRN teams as they develop, implement and test SOPs that operationalize high priority PBRN research best practices. The use of such reliable SOPs will have several benefits: 1) Increased compliance to research protocols for studies conducted in the decentralized PBRN member clinics;2) Reduced variation in study procedures between PBRNs;3) Heightened awareness about research integrity among PBRN leaders and staff;4) Greater public confidence in the primary research enterprise and subsequent willingness to participate in primary care research;and 5) Broader research participation by ambulatory clinics, which will increase the generalizability of primary care study findings. The study will achieve the following specific aims:
Aim 1 : Assist PBRNs to evaluate their current adherence to research best practices specific to the PBRN context, and to prioritize areas for quality improvement (QI).
Aim 2 : Implement a novel QI demonstration project to improve PBRN research culture which incorporates communication and organization change strategies from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Reliable Design method and the Institute for Cultural Affairs'Technology of Improvement strategy.
Aim 3 : Build PBRN research capacity to develop, implement and test reliable standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Aim 4 : Compile and widely disseminate the first resource to improve the quality of primary care research operations, the Guide to Quality Improvement in PBRNs.
Building Research Culture and Capacity with Quality Improvement Strategies Project Narrative: Relevance Research that builds the evidence-base of primary care is needed to improve the health of the nation, but in order to participate, the public must have confidence in the practice-based research networks (PBRNs) that are the vehicles for conducting primary care research. This study will adapt quality improvement strategies well-known in the patient safety movement to improve the quality of research conducted by PBRNs. By developing reliable standard operating procedures (SOPs) for research conducted by PBRNs, this project should contribute to greater public willingness to participate in research, which is important to improve the quality of primary care.