Both the University of California (all 5 medical centers) and the Veterans Health Administration (all >150 medical centers) are participating in the pSCANNER project. The Patient-oriented Scalable National Network for Effectiveness Research (pSCANNER) is one of 13 Clinical Data Research Networks funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute as part of PCORnet. Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs) are networks of healthcare systems that securely collect health information during the routine course of patient care and convert these data to a common data model that can respond to standardized queries. Patient Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) are groups operated and governed by patients and/or caregivers who wish to play an active role in patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. 

The goal of PCORnet is to increase the nation’s capacity to conduct comparative effectiveness research by creating a large, highly representative network of patients and standardized electronic health records that will improve the efficiency of conducting future clinical outcomes studies. The goal of pSCANNER is to standardize electronic medical records across large healthcare organizations so that electronic health data resources can be used to answer important clinical research questions quickly and efficiently.


In addition to data standardization, the pSCANNER network has developed and successfully implemented distributed analytic algorithms that do not require sharing of patient-level data. The network technology employs privacy-preserving analytics that allow sites to extract de-identified data sets that can be collaboratively analyzed without transferring patient-level identifiers; all network organizations retain their identifiable data in HIPAA-compliant environments.