A new approach to clinical research: Integrating clinical care, quality reporting, and research using a wound care network-based learning healthcare system

Wound Repair Regen. 2017 May;25(3):354-365. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12538. Epub 2017 Jun 26.


The disparity between ideal evidence from randomized controlled trials and real-world evidence in medical research has prompted the United States Food and Drug Administration to consider the use of real-world data to better understand safety and effectiveness of new devices for a broader patient population and to prioritize real-world data in regulatory decision making. As the healthcare system transitions from volume- to value-based care, there is a growing need to harness the power of real-world data to change the paradigm for wound care clinical research and enable more generalizable clinical trials. This paper describes the implementation of a network-based learning healthcare system by a for-profit consortium of wound care clinics that integrates wound care management, quality improvement, and comparative effectiveness research, by harnessing structured real-world data within a purpose-built electronic health record at the point of care. Centers participating in the consortium submit their clinical data and quality measures to a qualified clinical data registry for wound care, enabling benchmarking of their data across this national network. The common definitional framework of the purpose-built electronic health record and the 21 wound-specific quality measures help to standardize the potential sources of bias in real-world data, making the consortium data useful for comparative effectiveness research. This consortium can transform wound care clinical research and raise the standards of care, while helping physicians achieve success with the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research* / economics
  • Biomedical Research* / trends
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Physician Incentive Plans / trends*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • Quality Improvement / trends*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reimbursement, Incentive
  • United States
  • Wound Healing*