Contemporary medicine faces huge challenges. Clinicians have an abundance of novel diagnostics tools and treatments for patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease. Yet the knowledge of when these interventions can be safely, effectively, and efficiently applied to improve patient outcomes remains unclear in many situations. Even when such evidence exists, the translation of these advances into routine practice has been slow, incomplete, and fraught with errors of omission, commission, and overuse.
Outcomes research has remarkable potential to improve the practice of cardiovascular medicine. However, the field remains in its formative phase. In order to meet society’s needs, there had to be a rapid expansion in the number of qualified centers and researchers who can carry out high-value outcomes research.
To support the vital growth in outcomes infrastructure, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) identified three Centers for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (CCOR)–Boston University, University of Massachusetts, and Yale University–as well as a Research Coordinating Unit (RCU), Duke Clinical Research Institute. We believe the leadership, vision, and organizational skills of this unique collaboration of the NHLBI and the four outstanding academic institutions evolved into a cohesive, high-yield, high-impact, outcomes research consortium.