Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs)


PBRNs are groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based health care questions and translate research findings into practice. PBRNs engage clinicians in quality improvement activities and an evidence-based culture in primary care practice to improve the health of all Americans. The PBRN Web site enables PBRNs to share research, connect with colleagues, find funding opportunities, and access resources.

Visit the PBRN Web site.


PBRNs draw on the experience and insight of practicing clinicians to identify and frame research questions whose answers can improve the practice of primary care. By linking these questions with rigorous research methods, the PBRN can produce research findings that are immediately relevant to the clinician and, in theory, more easily assimilated into everyday practice.


  • The development of My Wellness Portal, a patient-centered, prevention oriented, Web-based personal health record that can help improve patient-centered care, increase the delivery of individualized recommended preventive services, and increase clinician knowledge of patients' medical histories.
  • A Web-based Interactive Personal Health Record that improves rates of delivery of clinical preventive services.
  • Validation of an instrument to measure Patient Safety Culture in Medical Office Settings.
  • Effective approaches for facilitating patient self-management during a pandemic influenza event.
  • Field testing of a new ambulatory care electronic Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Events Reporting System (MEADERS).


AHRQ invites all interested primary care networks to register with the AHRQ PBRN Resource Center (PBRN RC). The PBRN RC provides resources and assistance to Primary Care PBRNs engaged in clinical and health services research.

Settings of Care

Primary care clinician and community-based practices.


  • PBRN Resource Center (RC) provides technical support to primary care PBRNs. Support is provided in areas such as PBRN research methodology (including research design, analytic strategies, and organizational development), Health Information Technology, and the maintenance of the network. The RC also functions to build the capacity of these networks by educating the networks in primary care research and data collection best practices.
  • AHRQ and the RC host Peer Learning Groups that include conference calls and presentations to assist researchers and support staff in topical areas such as Comparative Effectiveness Research, PBRN operations, Quality Improvement Research, Heath Information Technology, and Research Methodology. These opportunities for information exchange empower the participants through expert consulting and training to share and improve skills.
Page last reviewed September 2018
Page originally created September 2014
Internet Citation: Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs). Content last reviewed September 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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