About the Comparative Effectiveness Research Center

What is Comparative Effectiveness Research?

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is the generation and synthesis of evidence comparing benefits and harms for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, or improvement to delivery of care for the purposes of making informed decisions to improve health care at the individual and population levels (IOM). CER can also be described as research that aims to determine, “which treatment works best, for whom, and under which circumstances”. The goal of CER is to determine which of the many healthcare options available to patients and those who care for them work best in particular circumstances. (PCORI) Effectively conducting CER requires multidisciplinary research using numerous types of study designs, such as observational studies, randomized trials, analysis of registries and electronic health records, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

About the University of Pittsburgh Comparative Effectiveness Research Center (CERC)

The Comparative Effectiveness Research Center (CERC) is the nexus of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Established in 2011, the CERC leads and participates in high-quality clinical and methodological research, collaborates on educational activities, and fosters interactions between researchers and stakeholders interested in patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. The CERC Data Center is a University-wide resource to facilitate research using large public health datasets containing protected health information. It provides secure data storage, high-throughput computing and access to multiple state and federal databases.

Objectives of the Comparative Effectiveness Research Center

  1. Conduct high-quality comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research through methodological expertise; informatics infrastructure; and strategic coordination of responses to funding opportunities.
  2. Build an active comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research community through clinical and stakeholder collaborations and training.
  3. Demonstrate the translation of comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research via dissemination and implementation into actions that effectively reach the patients, thus directly impacting clinical care.