Skip to main content
Sign In

Practice-Based Research Networks

Building 500

What is a Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN)?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a primary care practice-based research network, or PBRN, as "groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based health care questions and translate research findings into practice." This definition includes a sense of ongoing commitment to network activities and an organizational structure that transcends a single research project. PBRNs encourage clinicians and practices work together with academic researchers to develop research questions and design and conduct studies in real-life clinical practice settings, giving practitioners experienced in clinical and health services research, while at the same time enhancing the research skills of the network members.

The State Network of Colorado Ambulatory Practices & Partners (SNOCAP) provide an infrastructure for the study of naturally occuring phenomena in primary care, such as unselected health problems, the effects of continuity of care, individual disease prevention strategies, care of families, and the implications of providing care with respect to individual and sociocultural norms and values, among many others. Additionally, PBRNs can take into account issues like practice organization, patient population, and community factors that are critical to enhance the generalizability of research findings.   

To read more about the significance of practice-based research, please visit our PBRN publication library.

Did You Know?

The University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine pioneered one of the early regional practice-based research networks called the Family Medicine Information System, and then established the first national PBRN, the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network.