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Research News


HSR&D and CDC Partner for Infection Control Practice-Based Research Network

November 3, 2017


  Eli Perencevich, MD, MSEli Perencevich, MD, MS

Eli Perencevich, MD, MS, Director of HSR&D’s Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation  (CADRE) and CADRE Associate Director, Heather Reisinger, PhD, will lead a new and unique infection control-focused, practice-based research network (PBRN) that will be jointly funded by VA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Perencevich will lead the 15-site PBRN for which the CDC has provided funding, and Dr. Reisinger will lead the VA-funded implementation core that will support the new network.

Dr. Perencevich is also the Director of HSR&D’s Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence (CREATE) initiative, Advancing MRSA Infection Prevention. Consisting of four healthcare associated infection prevention studies, the CREATE initiative comprised the foundational work for this new joint PBRN; however, as that work will be concluding in 2018, colleagues at the CDC sought to continue and expand the CREATE work. The new collaboration will do so by extending the original 10-site CREATE PBRN to a 15-facility network designed to conduct and complete cluster-randomized control trials, quasi-experimental, prospective cohort, and implementation studies. The new collaboration will support research coordinators, as well as a data management and analytic core.

   Heather Reisinger, PhD Heather Reisinger, PhD

The VA/CDC PBRN is comprehensive, consisting of an array of medical care facilities, including 87 medical-surgical wards; 29 intensive care units; and nine long-term care VA Community Living Centers. Each site has a local hospital epidemiologist or infectious disease physician serving as the site-based principal investigator, and a research coordinator trained to monitor infection control processes including hand hygiene, contact precautions, and surgical infection prevention bundles in the inpatient, outpatient, and nursing home settings. The expectation is that three to five concurrent or overlapping protocols will utilize the PBRN in a cost-effective and time-efficient collaboration between these two federal agencies. According to Dr. Reisinger, “Our expectation is that, ultimately, this collaboration will help us identify innovative methods to better-protect both patients and healthcare workers from dangerous, infectious diseases that can spread in healthcare settings—a crtitcal goal given the rise of antimicrobial resistant organisms, or so-called ‘superbugs’,  and the lack of any new antimicrobials on the horizon.” Results should have wide application both within and outside VA.