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Health Services Research

DCRI researchers lead the nation in the collection and analysis of outcomes, economic, and quality-of-life data for clinical research and have conducted large studies in a dozen therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, geriatrics, and infectious disease.

Our investigators have conducted comparative effectiveness studies and developed decision models for seriously ill patients, preference assessment instruments for patients with stroke and severe head injury, and performance profiles of health care providers, hospitals, and payers. DCRI outcomes researchers help to maintain the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, the largest collection of cardiovascular outcomes data in the world, as well as the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ National Cardiac Surgery Database. DCRI researchers also maintain one of the largest repositories of Medicare claims data and have successfully linked those data with numerous national registries.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Observational Analysis
  • Clinical Registries
  • Claims Data
  • Comparative Effectiveness
  • Economic Evaluation and Cost-Effectiveness
  • Quality of Life
  • Patient-Reported Outcomes
  • Patient-Provider Communication
  • Medical Decision Making


Learn more

Contact Elizabeth Fraulo or Damon Seils.



Center for Learning Health Care (CLHC)

The Center for Learning Health Care, under the leadership of Dr. Amy Abernethy, develops and tests practical solutions to facilitate learning care delivery systems and evidence-based patient-centered care. It brings together several existing programs at Duke and provides a platform for several new specialized cores, creating an innovation hub for investigators and academic entrepreneurs.

The goals of the CLHC are highly aligned with those of the DCRI/DTMI because of our shared focus on providing transformational infrastructure that supports an integrated, data-driven, clinical/research environment in which evidence development is a continuous process, and new evidence is routinely implemented and evaluated.

Contact Amy Abernethy for more information.



Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs)

Led by Dr. Eric D. Peterson, the Duke Cardiovascular Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Duke CERTs team recognizes that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and disproportionately impacts the elderly, racial minorities, and people with low incomes. The Duke CERTs team is committed to focusing on scientific investigation in the following five areas: (1) acute coronary syndromes; (2) coronary revascularization; (3) heart failure; (4) stroke; and (5) sudden cardiac arrest. The Duke CERTs mission is to improve the quality of cardiovascular treatment by identifying gaps in patient care, providing evidence of effective treatment strategies, translating knowledge into practice, and educating patients on the importance of adherence to recommended treatments.

Please contact us at with your comments or suggestions.



Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC)

The Duke Evidence-based Practice Center brings together the expertise necessary to develop state of the art systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The EPC advances understanding of clinical topics through 1) a thorough ascertainmment of available scientific research, 2) a scientifically-driven process for evaluating available evidence, and 3) a methodologically sophisticated analysis designed to demonstrate and estimate bias. The goal of such projects is to aid in the development of clinical practice guidelines or practice improvement projects. The center is one of 13 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) nationwide designated and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).



Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness (DEcIDE)

DEcIDE is a network of research centers that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) created in 2005 to generate new knowledge. The DEcIDE Network conducts accelerated practical studies about the outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, safety, and appropriateness of health care items and services. The network is comprised of research-based health organizations with access to electronic health information databases and the capacity to conduct rapid turnaround research.


Folder Center for Learning Health Care
Page Signature Projects
File Health Services Research Brochure (2014)
Folder Racial and Ethnic Disparities Research
Page Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement
Document Actions

Lawrence Muhlbaier, PhD (portlet)
Lawrence Muhlbaier, PhD
Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

at the DCRI