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OHSU renewed as one of nation’s 11 Evidence-based Practice Centers

Newly named center adds partners, continues efforts to improve health care

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded OHSU and two collaborators another five-year contract to serve as one of the nation's 11 Evidence-based Practice Centers. The Evidence-based Practice Centers review and synthesize scientific literature to support evidence-based decision making by clinicians and consumers and improve health care in the United States.

This is the fourth time OHSU has been awarded an EPC contract. The Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center has operated at OHSU since 1997, bringing in more than $58 million to study effectiveness of medications, devices and health care services. It has produced more than 200 reports.

The contract will come with a new name for the center, as OHSU has added two new partners. The new Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center at OHSU will include the University of Washington Center for Comparative and Health System Effectiveness Alliance (CHASE Alliance) and Spectrum Research, Inc., of Tacoma, Wash., as partners.

"The EPC award attests to the quality of the work conducted at our EPC over the last 15 years,” said Roger Chou, M.D., who has been the scientific director of the Oregon EPC at OHSU since 2007 and will be the new center's director. Chou is an associate professor in the departments of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “We are excited to be working with our new partners, the University of Washington and Spectrum. This partnership brings together the two pre-eminent academic institutions in the Pacific Northwest with a highly respected technology assessment group and represents our evolution into a truly regional center, the Pacific Northwest EPC."

The nation's EPCs are designated and overseen by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The EPCs review all relevant scientific literature on clinical, behavioral and organizational topics to produce evidence reports and technology assessments. These reports and assessments are then used by federal and state agencies, private sector professional societies, health care providers and others to make health care decisions based on the evidence.

Researchers from OHSU, UW CHASE Alliance and Spectrum Research have investigated a wide range of topics, and the new award means they will continue to evaluate what works and what doesn't in today's complex health care landscape.

"The work that the EPCs do is vital to our health care system," said Marian McDonagh, Pharm.D., associate professor in the OHSU department of medical Informatics and clinical epidemiology and the Pacific Northwest EPC’s associate director. "Because health care is developing and advancing at a rapid pace, we need to continually study the best and most effective treatments and preventive services."

The 10 other EPCs named this month, with contracts through the summer of 2017, are:

  • BlueCross BlueShield Association, Chicago, Ill.
  • Brown University, Providence, R.I.
  • ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
  • The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
  • Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Oakland, Calif.
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • RTI International, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.
  • University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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