Ensuring Support for Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Networks: Four Pillars of Sustainability - An Emerging Framework

Erin Holve, AcademyHealth


Multi-institutional research and quality improvement (QI) projects leveraging electronic clinical information from electronic health record (EHR) data, electronic patient reported outcomes (ePROs), mobile health technologies (mHealth), and other sources have tremendous potential to contribute not only to scientific discoveries, but to improve care delivery and patient outcomes. By its nature, however, this type of “big and complex” science requires substantial support for infrastructure (governance, data, methods, and training) and ongoing maintenance and management structures to support the highest quality projects. The proposed sustainability framework to support research and QI networks is based on conversations with EDM Forum investigators and stakeholders at the frontier of building systems and processes to use electronic clinical data for research and QI, and includes four “pillars” that the community has identified as critical considerations for achieving sustainability: trust & value, governance, management, and support (both financial and administrative).