Transactions of the International Conference on Health Information Technology Advancement

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Objective: While the randomized control clinical trial (RCT) has long been viewed as the “gold standard” for evidence based medicine, researchers and clinicians have also recognized limitations of RCTs when applied to clinical practice. These limitations arise from the fact that the results of interventions and procedures of RCTs conducted in controlled institutional settings often differ significantly from results obtained when the same interventions are applied in clinical practice. Consequently, there are increasing calls for more research to be carried out in the “real world” setting of clinical practices treating heterogeneous groups of patients. Studies conducted in clinical practices are referred to as “pragmatic clinical trials” or “pragmatic studies” and practice based research networks (PBRNs) have been proposed as ideal environments for conducting pragmatic clinical trials. The purpose of this study is to investigate how well PBRNs have performed in fulfilling this promise in the US.