Integrating Medical Research with Practice
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) was founded on the idea that research and clinical practice each work best when they can collaborate and inform each other. Today, the value of this model is being increasingly recognized as health care research puts greater emphasis on measuring how scientific breakthroughs affect real world patient outcomes, and forward-thinking health care organizations become learning healthcare systems.
PAMFRI is unique in that for more than sixty years, it has been able to draw on the experience and data of one of the nation’s oldest and most well established multi-specialty medical groups to inform its research and test its findings. With an onsite location at the PAMF Palo Alto Center, the Research Institute allows doctors to work directly with leading researchers to test ideas for improving patient care, while allowing the researchers to explore clinical data for patterns that may suggest ways to improve health care practice. Geography is not a constraint; PAMFRI researchers work in PAMF’s clinics from Santa Cruz to Mountain View; Fremont to Burlingame.
In this quest to improve patient care and health care practice, PAMFRI investigators are aided by the Foundation’s deep investment in electronic health records for its patients. PAMF was one of the first outpatient health care providers in the nation to use electronic health records and today has one of the largest and longest running electronic health record data sets available. Carefully scrubbed of personally identifying health information, these data are helping to answer some of medicine’s most pressing questions about what works best in treating disease, managing chronic conditions and keeping patients healthy.