Table 1. Lessons Learned from the Development of Our Practice-based Research Network (PBRN)
Lessons LearnedKey Tips
Shared vision and commitment
  • Identify what makes your PBRN unique and find ways to market that uniqueness.

Leadership, mentorship and collaboration
  • Cultivate and support leaders.

  • Share resources.

  • Build bridges and partnerships.

  • Add value in multiple differing spheres.

Engaging busy clinicians
  • Provide realistic incentives for clinical partners.

  • Advocate for network members, including sometimes taking a hard line on budgets.

  • Consider involving recently retired or part-time network clinicians to provide compensated help.

  • Keep meetings short and agendas engaging.

Bridging academia and community
  • Retain staff that have rapport (and experience) with both academic and community settings.

  • Educate partners about each others' worlds.

  • Take time to strengthen relationships and build trust.

  • Encourage research partners to invest in longitudinal relationships with the network.

Harnessing EHR data
  • Meet with and educate your IRB about your PBRN's work.

  • Reach out to executive leaders at network clinics who can give input on big-picture policies and priorities.

  • Find ways to improve the data with every research project.

  • Budget adequate time (and money) for negotiating data sharing and data use policies.

  • EHR, electronic health record; IRB, institutional review board.