"This is the first research network that will be able to follow patients longitudinally - their care, medications, hospitalizations and vital status - which can directly lead to improvements in care delivery and patient outcomes", stated Dr. John Rumsfeld, Chief Science Officer for the American College of Cardiology National Cardiovascular Data Registries. "The combination of working with existing American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association clinical registries to follow patients' care and outcomes over time, as well as creating new registries where they don't already exist, is very powerful."
Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, it remains the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and one of the fastest rising causes of death and disability in the world. Led by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research investigator Alan S. Go, MD, the new CVRN network will initially conduct three core research projects over the next five years: 1) hypertension recognition, treatment and control, 2) quality of care and outcomes of the blood thinner, warfarin, for atrial fibrillation and blood clots, and 3) the use and outcomes of implantable cardiac defibrillators.
"The goal of our collaborative network is to set up a structure and organize our research expertise to more rapidly study emerging cardiovascular research questions and to facilitate productive collaborations with other researchers and organisations that ultimately maximize the delivery of appropriate care and optimize outcomes for those with or at risk for cardiovascular disease", stated Alan S. Go, MD, a senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research who is the CVRN Principal Investigator.
The CVRN will leverage expertise, populations, and data resources from a consortium of 14 geographically diverse health plans in the United States with integrated research divisions. Collectively, this represents more than 7 million health plan members and several hundred doctoral level investigators, clinical researchers and support people.
"The goal of the CVRN is to increase knowledge about cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in the context of community-based health care delivery, an environment in which most clinical and preventive care is delivered", stated NHLBI Director Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD. "Through the collaboration of several health plans across the United States, this research network will help us understand the integration of scientific advances into clinical practice."
In addition to the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, research collaborators include Kaiser Permanente Clinical Research Unit in Denver, Colorado; Meyers Primary Care Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts; Center for Health Studies at Group Health in Seattle, Washington; Center for Health Research at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania; Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston, Massachusetts; HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Honolulu, Hawaii; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Southeast in Atlanta, Georgia; Lovelace Clinic Foundation in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Marshfield, Wisconsin; and the Division of Research and Education at Scott & White in Temple, Texas.
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes, and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well being and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, the centre's 400-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects.
Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit; group practice prepayment programme headquartered in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of more than 8,7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 156.000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 13.000 physicians representing all specialities.