Patients and physicians are fortunate to confront expanded options for diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. While physicians strive to tailor recommendations to the unique characteristics and circumstances of each patient, many decisions today must be made without reliable comparative information. That information gap is frustrating for patients, who too often undergo trial and error medicine, as well as for physicians. Moreover, few health care organizations are designed to harness the best clinical insights for widespread dissemination and learning. It is precisely this chasm that a focus on comparative effectiveness (CE) research, also known as patient-centered health research, is intended to address.
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