PCORnet® 2020: current state, accomplishments, and future directions

Christopher B. Forrest*, Kathleen M. McTigue, Adrian F. Hernandez, Lauren W. Cohen, Henry Cruz, Kevin Haynes, Rainu Kaushal, Abel N. Kho, Keith A. Marsolo, Vinit P. Nair, Richard Platt, Jon E. Puro, Russell L. Rothman, Elizabeth A. Shenkman, Lemuel Russell Waitman, Neely A. Williams, Thomas W. Carton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe PCORnet, a clinical research network developed for patient-centered outcomes research on a national scale. Study Design and Setting: Descriptive study of the current state and future directions for PCORnet. We conducted cross-sectional analyses of the health systems and patient populations of the 9 Clinical Research Networks and 2 Health Plan Research Networks that are part of PCORnet. Results: Within the Clinical Research Networks, electronic health data are currently collected from 337 hospitals, 169,695 physicians, 3,564 primary care practices, 338 emergency departments, and 1,024 community clinics. Patients can be recruited for prospective studies from any of these clinical sites. The Clinical Research Networks have accumulated data from 80 million patients with at least one visit from 2009 to 2018. The PCORnet Health Plan Research Network population of individuals with a valid enrollment segment from 2009 to 2019 exceeds 60 million individuals, who on average have 2.63 years of follow-up. Conclusion: PCORnet's infrastructure comprises clinical data from a diverse cohort of patients and has the capacity to rapidly access these patient populations for pragmatic clinical trials, epidemiological research, and patient-centered research on rare diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Big data
  • Clinical research network
  • Distributed data network
  • Electronic health records
  • Health plan research network
  • Learning health system
  • PCORnet
  • Pragmatic clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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