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Measuring and improving performance in multicenter research consortia.

Author information

1
Group Health Cooperative, Center for Health Studies, 1730 Minor Ave., Ste. 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, USA. greene.sm@ghc.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Some evidence suggests that the quality of the organization and management of research consortia influences productivity and staff satisfaction. Collaborators in a research consortium generally focus on developing and implementing studies and thus rarely assess the process of collaboration. We present an approach to evaluating and improving a research consortium, using the HMO Cancer Research Network (CRN) as an example.

METHODS:

Five domains are evaluated: extent of collaboration and quality of communication; performance of projects and infrastructure; data quality; scientific productivity; and impact on member organizations. The primary assessment tool is a survey of CRN scientists and project staff, undertaken annually.

RESULTS:

Each year, the evaluation has identified critical aspects of this collaboration that could be improved. Several tangible changes have been implemented to improve productivity of the consortium. The most important result of the CRN Evaluation is the ability to have open dialogue about ways to improve its overall performance.

CONCLUSION:

Optimizing the process of collaboration will contribute to achievement of the scientific goals. The experience of the CRN provides a useful framework and process for evaluating the structure of consortium-based research.

PMID:
16287882
DOI:
10.1093/jncimonographs/lgi034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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