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Commentary: Precision Science and Patient-Centered Care

Clancy, Carolyn M. MD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182179214

Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), also known as comparative effectiveness research, offers new opportunities and challenges for academic health centers (AHCs). The author of this commentary summarizes the contributions of some of the articles in this issue that focus on PCOR, and she emphasizes the unique features of this distinctive type of research, which are longitudinal patient follow-up, the inclusion of patient-reported outcomes, and the dynamic interaction among all stakeholders throughout all phases of research.

The author advocates that researchers engaged in comparative effectiveness research make every effort, and explore innovative means, to accelerate the translation of their research findings into practice. The opportunities to close the gaps between what physicians and medical scientists do and what they know, to support clinicians and patients who are working together in order to rapidly identify the best option for a unique individual, and to lead the way in addressing barriers to achieving personalized, patient-centered care should engage key members of AHCs in comparative effectiveness research, so that these institutions become a vital link connecting biomedical innovation and its precision application in diverse communities and populations.

Author Information

Dr. Clancy is director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Clancy, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, John M. Eisenberg Building, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20840; telephone: (301) 427-1200; fax: (301) 427-1210; e-mail:

Editor's Note: This is a commentary on the collection on comparative effectiveness research that appears in this issue.

© 2011 Association of American Medical Colleges