HMO Research Network (HMORN) is a voluntary consortium of 19 major HMO organizations that have well-established research capabilities. Essentia Health became an associate member of HMORN in 2011, with full membership following in 2012.
The network allows the Essentia Institute of Rural Health access to a diverse population and many capable collaborators. The HMORN has been described as "a model for its capacity to implement studies and capture data within the context of usual care." The network has achieved milestones including consolidating multiple large network projects around the use of a single distributed data resource, setting up data counters, developing cross network governance to facilitate use of distributed data resources, and reviewing potential new clinical studies.
There are a number of specific utilities that are exclusively available to members of the HMORN including: a project management portal, a guide to optimizing recruitment in multi-center studies, and a guide describing IRB procedures around the Network.
HMO Research Network members include the Essentia Institute of Rural Health (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Idaho), Group Health Cooperative (Washington/Idaho), Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Boston), Henry Ford Health System (Southeastern Michigan), HealthPartners Research Foundation (Minneapolis/St. Paul), Meyers Primary Care Institute of Fallon Health Care (Central Massachusetts), Lovelace Clinic Foundation (New Mexico), the Marshfield Clinic (Wisconsin), Scott and White Health Plan (Texas), the Geisinger Health System (Pennsylvania), the Maccabi Healthcare Services (Tel Aviv, Israel), Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (California), and the Kaiser Permanente divisions in Hawaii, Northwest (Oregon and Washington), Northern California, Colorado, Southern California, Georgia, and Mid Atlantic (Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia).
The network has the vision of being the research partner of choice for those seeking to shape health and health care delivery. There are a number of aims that accompany this purpose:
- To be recognized as the Nation's premier resource for population-based health and health care research by leveraging the Network's unparalleled member and geographic diversity, research and research translation strengths, and organizational, human capital, and data resources.
- Contribute to national and global dialogues on health research and policy by serving as a credible source of evidence-based information and representing integrated delivery system-based research perspectives.
- Promote and establish the Network as a preferred research partner of funding agencies and others by capitalizing on its research and research translation strengths and by communication efforts designed to increase the visibility of the Network, its collective capabilities, and its accomplishments.
- Foster Network-led collaborative studies by enhancing awareness of research interests, resources, and capabilities of the member centers and their investigators and by stimulating proposals, endorsing them, and publicizing their successes.
- Share methodologies, best practices, and consultative expertise derived from the Network's successful research enterprise by holding an Annual Conference, strengthening investigator development through shared recruitment strategies, fellowships and mentoring programs, joining forces with public and private agency initiatives, and enlisting both traditional and new dissemination technologies.
The HMORN has spun off a number of multi-site collaborations including the Cancer Research Network (CRN), the Centers for Education and Research in Therapeutics (CERT), the Coordinated Clinical Studies Network, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN), and the Cancer Care and Outcomes Research Surveillance Consortium.