Debra H. Fiser, M.D., Director

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options.  The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. CER employs both systematic reviews of existing evidence as well as the conduct of studies to generate new evidence.  CER studies may utilize randomized trial designs or observational designs employing such new statistical techniques as propensity matching.  This type of work is often needed to provide evidence for clinical practice guideline development and to improve quality and control costs.  AHRQ has championed and funded CER in this context.  More recently, PCORI was formed to fund methodologically rigorous CER with active patient and stakeholder engagement focusing on patient important outcomes.  The goal of the PCER will be to grow and develop CER among the UAMS/ACH pediatric faculty.

The activities of the PCER unit include:

  1. To provide consultation, mentoring, and/or partnership to clinicians to pursue CER questions for publication and funding.  These clinicians may include existing faculty members who are clinical educators or clinical scientists.
  2. To provide connections to a network of experts and cores in various aspects of CER methodology (e.g., community engagement, dissemination and implementation, health disparities, etc.) across the ACH/ACHRI and UAMS campuses, within the Department of Pediatrics, TRI, the library, and elsewhere.
  3. To secure the future by developing a cadre of 5 junior pediatric clinical scientists or clinical educators with CER expertise by supporting training in CER and/or by recruiting faculty who are fully trained in CER. They will be provided with 50% protected time and modest start-up funds and will be expected to have submitted a grant (either for a K-type career development award or a R01 type award) by the end of the second year in the program.  Ongoing support and protected time beyond the second year will be dependent on progress and productivity using typical academic standards (publications, grant submissions, etc.).
  4. To stimulate CER activity by awarding peer-reviewed pilot study funds to pediatric faculty members for promising projects with potential for extramural funding.
  5. To stimulate CER activity by organizing and publicizing links to useful information (TRI links, funding opportunities, databases, seminars, core faculty, publications and grants) on web site or Sharepoint.
  6. To stimulate CER activity by organizing a PCER magnet group to meet on a regular basis.
  7. To stimulate CER activity by presenting research seminars and/or CER methods seminars 2-4 times per year engaging local faculty and guest faculty.