Evidence-based Practice Center

The Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center (KPRA EPC) is one of 13 centers nationwide to be designated as an official EPC by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).


The EPCs synthesize available scientific evidence on health care topics by conducting evidence reports, including systematic reviews, comparative effectiveness reviews, technical briefs, technology assessments, modeling, decision-analyses, and cost-effective analyses. These evidence reports are used to guide health care decision-making by clinicians, patients, policymakers, researchers, and payers. The EPCs also conduct research to advance the methodology of systematic reviews.

The Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates EPC involves over 75 researchers from three integrated health care delivery systems: Kaiser Permanente, Group Health Research Institute, and HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research. The KPRA EPC is headquartered in Portland, Oregon at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and directed by Jennifer S. Lin, MD, MCR.

Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates EPC have extensive experience in key cross-cutting areas, such as systematic reviews in preventive services and genomic test evaluations, and focused expertise in methods development. Our investigators have completed systematic reviews or methods-related projects for many different groups, including the Effective Health Care Program, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). KPRA EPC researchers have also played a key role in the Scientific Resource Center work undertaken for major evidence-based programs such as the Effective Health Care Program, USPSTF, and Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP).

EPC Contacts

Jennifer S. Lin, MD, MCR
EPC Director
jennifer.s.lin@kpchr.org

Tracy Beil
EPC Project Director
tracy.beil@kpchr.org

Debra Burch
Assistant to EPC Director
Debra.Burch@kpchr.org

Mailing Address
Center for Health Research,
Kaiser Permanente Northwest
3800 N. Interstate Ave.
Portland, OR 97227-1110

 

A Brief History of the EPC

Under the leadership of Evelyn Whitlock, MD, MPH, the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research was a founding partner in the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), one of the 12 original EPCs initially designated in 1997 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Over 18 years, we have built our EPC experience into a vibrant research enterprise employing a stable staff of close to 20 dedicated systematic reviewers.

In 2012, we established the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates (KPRA) EPC, which has since engaged over 50 researchers and staff on more than 30 systematic reviews or methods projects. After 10 years as a lead investigator in our EPC, and three years as associate director, Dr. Jennifer S. Lin became the EPC director in 2016.

 

Independence & Conflicts of Interest

We conduct our EPC work as part of the extensive, externally-funded, non-proprietary research that is conducted in affiliation with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. Since the KPRA EPC’s funding and operations are within autonomous research centers, our EPC Investigators’ research agendas and published findings are neither determined nor influenced by the Kaiser Permanente payer or delivery system leaders and administrators. In addition, we have policies and procedures in place to ensure that no undue conflict of interest affects the perception or actual conduct of our work. Potential conflicts of interest are clearly identified and disclosed, and individuals with potential conflicts of interest (i.e., those who could gain a personal financial or other benefit from a particular scientific decision) are not allowed to influence any of the scientific decisions or access the results before publication.

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