Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Why PCORI Was Created

Patients, their families, and clinicians face a wide range of complex and often-confusing choices when it comes to health and healthcare concerns. They need trustworthy information to decide which treatment or other care option is best for them.

Unfortunately, traditional health research, for all the remarkable advances it produces, hasn’t been able to answer many of the questions patients and their clinicians face daily. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit, nongovernmental organization in Washington, DC, was authorized by Congress in 2010 to close that gap.

Our mandate is to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make better-informed health decisions. To do this, we work with those healthcare stakeholders to identify critical research questions and answer them through comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, focusing on outcomes important to patients. We also disseminate the results in ways that members of the healthcare community will find useful.

What We Do

Since December 2012, we have funded hundreds of studies that compare healthcare options to learn which works best, given patients’ circumstances and preferences.

As the largest public research funder that focuses primarily on CER, we issue funding announcements several times each year that call for proposals for CER projects.

We include patients and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process, so the resulting evidence will address their most important questions and concerns. We also provide awards to encourage engagement of patients and other healthcare stakeholders in CER. 

In addition, as directed by our authorizing law, we fund research to develop and improve CER methods. We know methods matter when it comes to producing valid and trustworthy information that will lead to better healthcare decisions and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes.

What Drives Our Work

Our mandate and mission are broad and complex, but in our Strategic Plan, we outline three overarching goals.

  • Substantially increase the quantity, quality, and timeliness of useful, trustworthy information available to support health decisions
  • Speed the implementation and use of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) evidence
  • Influence clinical and healthcare research funded by others to be more patient-centered