FAQ: PCORI LHS Coaching Calls, Week of Oct 30

Q: How do networks grow and how do we add more clinical sites to existing networks?

A:  All of our networks are working on expanding their clinical site footprint. Generally, you should have an onboarding and orientation for new sites where they learn from those who have been doing the work for quite some time. We are comfortable supporting teams bringing in new clinical sites on a regular basis and can work with you to support the process depending on your specific network needs.

Q: How do you manage sites that are not keeping up with network standards/protocols?

A: There are many approaches we can help you work through, depending on the specific circumstance.  We expect all care center teams to test and implement changes, submit monthly data and reports, and participate in webinars, workshops, etc.  We also promote peer-to-peer sharing by engaging successful sites as teachers.   All of these approaches are helpful in driving accountability, adoption of and reliable application of changes.  Network staff work individually with all sites to help them identify barriers and problem solve around them.   We will coach all networks so you can learn more about how to do this during the two year period.

Q: How do you manage a network with so many sites it becomes hard to manage them logistically?

A: There are lots of different way to go about this depending on the intricacies of the network etc. We can work with you on a case by case basis to find the right way to go depending on your needs. Mature networks such as SPS and ICN have tested successful models of subdividing networks into nodes in order to allow for targeted learning, more robust interaction and faster improvement while maintaining connection to the larger network.

Q: Does the population of focus need to be geographically based?

A: No, there are many ways to define a given population, geographically is just one example.  A defined segment or all of the patient population of a care center is a convenient way to define a population.

Q: We have a robust and active virtual community. Can this be used in lieu of partnering with clinical sites?

A: A virtual community is a great resource but should be considered in addition to a pool of clinical sites NOT, as a replacement for.

Q: What is the direct and indirect cost for this funding opportunity?

A: Each awardee will receive about $700K in direct funding and $2-300 K in consulting over the 2 years.  A portion of this funding will be directed back towards implementation and configuration onto the technology platform and other support services depending on the specific needs of each network.

Q: How do I find clinical care areas when no one seems interested?

A: Find the most passionate people practicing in the field. They will likely have others that they talk to and work with who share the same mindset. These are the people that would do the work regardless of the funding etc. Start with them and they will likely lead you to other likeminded clinicians.

Q: How much “technical and consulting support” is provided to networks from the National Program Office? Will a staff member be assigned to each network?

A: The exact amount of support received will vary based on individual needs of the network.  Our support model will focus not only on assisting you through the work of design and implementation but also on building the internal capacity of your network such that you will be able to support the operations of an LHS beyond the 2 year funding period.

Q: Do we need to submit a Network Charter as part of the Application or can we develop this as part of Year 1?

A: No, a charter is not a required part of the application.  Development of a Network Charter is one of the deliverables for the first year, (design phase).  Templates and examples of mature network charters can be found on the PCORnet Commons. It may be helpful to use these examples as a strategic planning tool in the development of their applications so they are aware directionally of what they will be working toward in year one and begin to plan accordingly.

Q: Are letters of support, biosketches, a Network organizational chart and the PCORI budget template required as “supplemental materials” other than the RC1-RC12 Application template?

A: Yes, all of these materials are considered to be supplemental to the formal application and should be provided in addition to the 12 page application limit.

Q: PCORI biosketches are required for “key leaders as well as a list of key personnel”. Can you clarify what constitutes key personnel?

A: PCORI has defined key personnel as positions that would require communication with the program office should turnover occur.

Q: The “organizational chart” is listed under “Clarity of Decision Making”—is a Network governance structure sufficient or is something else expected?

A: The organizational chart is a required part of this review criteria, however, additional information that you can provide to illustrate how decision making occurs or who owns the decision-making process for your network would be helpful.

Q: How do you show leadership and stakeholder support? Is there a metric for this we should be thinking about?

A: Letters of support are the primary mechanism in the application itself. This will be an area of particular focus during the interview. Applicants should consider who are the right people to attend the interview from their network and/or partners in order to speak to support and commitment.

Q: Do you have specific guidelines on how everything should be put together (e.g. pdfing and page numbering separate documents?)

A: There is no specific formatting required other than what is specified.

Q: Are there specific requirements on how LOS are supposed to be complied (e.g. one pdf document of all LOS with a table of contents?)

A: No, there is no specific formatting required though organization with a table of contents is appreciated.

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