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NIH Collaboratory Workshop

Essentials of Embedded Pragmatic Clinical Trials

Program Description
This workshop introduces concepts in the design, conduct, and implementation of embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs), with a particular focus on methods relevant to health services researchers. ePCTs are randomized trials conducted within health care systems that use streamlined procedures and existing infrastructure to answer important medical questions for patients, providers, and health systems. Such trials have the potential to inform policy and practice with broadly generalizable, high-quality evidence at lower cost and greater efficiency compared with traditional explanatory clinical trials. The workshop will provide attendees with a greater understanding of the investigative opportunities for embedded health systems research, along with strategies for conducting clinical trials that provide real-world evidence necessary to inform both practice and policy. Firsthand ePCT experiences and case studies from the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory Demonstration Projects will support and illustrate the topics presented.
Learning Objectives
1.     To clarify the definition of ePCTs and explain their utility.
2.     To provide greater understanding of the unique characteristics and challenges of designing, conducting, and implementing ePCTs within diverse health care systems.
3.     To increase the capacity of health services researchers to address important clinical questions with ePCTs.


Meet two of our plenary speakers 

Dr. Cara V. James, PhD

Cara James is President and CEO at Grantmakers In Health (GIH). Prior to joining GIH, she served as Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) where she provided leadership, vision, and direction to advance the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CMS goals related to reducing disparities and achieving health equity for vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic populations, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, and persons living in rural communities.

Dr. Vincent Liu, MD, MS

Vincent Liu is a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. His work focuses on the intersection of sepsis, acute severe illness, informatics, and health care delivery with a goal of building towards a learning hospital system. In addition to his clinical practice and research, Dr. Liu is also the Regional Director of Hospital Advanced Analytics in Kaiser Permanente Northern California.


Register today!

Register before March 1 to lock down your early bird rate! Save more, while gaining knowledge, networking opportunities, and an insight into the top research in the nation.

The HCSRN annual conference is the nation’s preeminent gathering for researchers based in real-world health care systems and our numerous collaborators in academic health systems, funding agencies, and patient-partner communities. The conference offers a diverse slate of content, showcasing rigorous, relevant research on important conditions affecting millions of patients. Register here.


Health Care Systems Research Network’s call for abstract and panel presentation submissions

HCSRN is accepting abstract and panel presentation submissions for our 2021 Virtual Conference on May 11-12. Topics may be scientific, methodological, operational, or anything else likely to draw a large, diverse audience. The deadline for submitting is Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm PT. Submit here.


Did you hear?  HCSRN is going Virtual!

HCSRN’s Annual Conference will now be held virtually on May 11-12, 2021

After careful thought and consideration, the HCSRN Board of Directors has determined that HCSRN’s in-person conference in Denver, Colorado will need to be held virtually due to continued COVID-19 uncertainties.

Don’t let that deter you! Join us in May for an informative, enlightening, and stimulating event. It will be a brand-new opportunity to learn, collaborate, communicate and network!

Our fully remote experience will continue to offer insightful educational content and unmatched member-sponsored research in a health-conscious environment. Your well-being is our top priority! Safety doesn’t mean boring – the virtual conference format will still offer many opportunities to converse and network with colleagues and collaborators in and outside of the Network. HCSRN looks forward to when we can all be together in-person, but until then, we are working harder than ever to bring you an engaging and informative conference. 

Information and announcements are located on the HCSRN’s Conference web site at and on our Twitter @HCSRN

New and Exciting Changes

We have a brand-new Conference theme to help reflect on the strength of our collaborators, members, and researchers: "Looking Forward and Embracing Change: Preparedness for the Future During Uncertain Times"

The 2021 HCSRN Conference will take place: May 11 and 12, 2021

Educational sessions will run 1.5 hours – 2.0 hours in length with breaks in between.

We will have a special session dedicated to interactive poster presentations.

Blocks of time for special interest groups will be made available.

Reduced registration fee compared to our past Annual Conferences.

Familiar Elements

We're continuing to bring the best parts of this annual HCSRN event including:

Outstanding plenary sessions

Call for abstracts

Small group breakouts

Scientific posters

Networking opportunities

Why aren’t we in Denver?

Member health and safety is paramount!

Due to continuing COVID-19 alarms and ambiguities, HCSRN thought it was in everyone’s best interest to not gather in-person.