A Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) roadmap for evaluating COVID-19 in community health centers: A report from the OCHIN PBRN

Jennifer E. DeVoe, Sonja M. Likumahuwa-Ackman, Heather E. Angier, Nathalie Huguet, Deborah J. Cohen, Susan A. Flocke, Miguel Marino, Rachel Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) are critical laboratories for generating evidence from real-world settings, including studying natural experiments. Primary care’s response to the novel coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is arguably the most impactful natural experiment in our lifetime. Evaluating the Impact of COVID-19: We briefly describe the OCHIN PBRN of community health centers (CHCs), its partnership with implementation scientists, and how we are leveraging this infrastructure and expertise to create a rapid research response evaluating how CHCs across the country responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 Research Roadmap: Our research agenda focuses on asking: How has care delivery in CHCs changed due to COVID-19? What impact has COVID-19 had on the delivery of preventive services in CHCs? Which PBRN services (e.g., data surveillance, training, evidence synthesis) are most impactful to real-world practices? What decision-making strategies were used in the PBRN and its practices to make real-time changes in response to the pandemic? What critical factors in successfully and sustainably transforming primary care are illuminated by pandemic-driven changes? Discussion and Conclusions: PBRNs enable real-world evaluation of practice change and natural experiments, and thus are ideal laboratories for implementation science research. We present a real-time example of how a PBRN Implementation Laboratory activated a response to study a historic natural experiment, to help other PBRNs charting a course through this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-778
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Community Health Centers
  • Coronavirus
  • Decision Making
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Implementation Science
  • Information Dissemination
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Pandemics
  • Practice-Based Research
  • Primary Health Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


Dive into the research topics of 'A Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) roadmap for evaluating COVID-19 in community health centers: A report from the OCHIN PBRN'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this