DARTNet Institute Informing Practice Improving Care
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Retrospective cohort study evaluating patterns of use, comparative effectiveness, and safety of oral diabetes medications for adults with type 2 diabetes

The initial proof of concept project for DARTNet, designed to illustrate the similarities and differences of secondary data from large insurance-based claims datasets to EHR data extraction via DARTNet. Specific design elements included an OCER algorithm for comparing monotherapy to combination therapy for oral hypoglycemic drugs, and then illustrating that comparable data could be extracted using DARTNet, with the addition of patient reported data.

The first DARTNet "certification" was conducted to assure the integrity of data extracted. The first DARTNet CDR was developed, along with a defined protocol for the OCER study.

Publications and Results

AHRQ's web page describing this project: http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productid=317

An electronic practice-based network for observational comparative effectiveness research.
Wilson D. Pace; Maribel Cifuentes; Robert J. Valuck; Elizabeth W. Staton; Elias C. Brandt; and David R. West.
Ann Intern Med 2009;151:338-40.

Building sustainable multi-functional prospective electronic clinical data systems.
Randhawa GS, Slutsky JR.
Med Care 2012 Jul; 50 Suppl:S3-S6.
[Authors are researcher in and director of AHRQ's Center for Outcomes and Research; discusses AHRQ's Distributed Research Network projects, citing AHRQ Effective Health Care program research reports]

Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet): Summary Report, 2009 (prepared by the University of Colorado DEcIDE Center under contract HHSA290-2005-0037-I-TO2), and Design Specifications for Network Prototype and Cooperative To Conduct Population-Based Studies and Safety Surveillance, 2009

Comparative effectiveness research in DARTNet primary care practices: point of care data collection on hypoglycemia and over-the-counter and herbal use among patients diagnosed with diabetes.
Libby AM, Pace W, Bryan C, Anderson HO, Ellis SL, Allen RR, Brandt E, Huebschmann AG, West D, Valuck RJ.
Med Care. 2010 Jun;48(6 Suppl):S39-44.


Developing a Distributed Research Network and Cooperative to Conduct Population-based Studies and Safety Surveillance, AHRQ contract HHSA290200500371 Task Order 2, $1,350,520, PI: David West, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dataset Description

Type of Patients Included N Data Elements
Patients with a diagnosis of diabetes  
  • Creatinine
  • Gender
  • Current smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Height and Weight/BMI
  • Total physician visits
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL
  • Age
  • Triglycerides
  • Creatinine clearance
  • AST
  • ALT
  • HbAlc
  • All meds
  • All diagnosis Active
  • All diagnosis inactive
  • Blood pressure
  • LDL-C