Dr. Rainu Kaushal Leads RECOVER Initiative to Study Long-Haul COVID

Dr. Rainu Kaushal, senior associate dean for clinical research and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, is spearheading a multimillion-dollar PCORnet study of post-acute sequelae of SARS-Cov-2 (PASC) infection, often referred to as “long-haul COVID.” Dr. Kaushal, who is also the principal investigator for INSIGHT Clinical Research Network (CRN), was selected as one of three leaders of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Cohort Studies for the NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative.  This novel research initiative leverages standardized and quality-assured clinical data, hundreds of scientists, streamlined processes, and clinical research infrastructure to rapidly generate evidence for PASC in the adult population. 

PCORnet-RECOVER EHR cohort is a collaboration between all eight PCORnet clinical research networks, including INSIGHT CRN, and represents 41 institutions across the nation. It provides an unprecedented breadth and depth of real-world data, nationally renowned investigators including informaticians, clinicians, and learning health system experts, and a robust track record for large-scale observational research, comparative effectiveness studies, surveys, and pragmatic clinical trial. The EHR cohort will contribute to the RECOVER Initiative in several meaningful ways, including the creation of new computable models that define PASC in adults; creation of computable patient characteristics that can be leveraged by clinical sites to identify and recruit eligible patients into studies; development of models and algorithms that predict risk of PASC, while examining disparities between different populations; and effects of vaccines on PASC. 

Dr. Kaushal’s study will also align closely with a companion PCORnet project through Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to provide the RECOVER initiative with a coordinated and technically harmonized lifespan response.  In collaboration with principal investigator Dr. Christopher Forrest, director of the Center of Applied Clinical Research at CHOP, the study teams will co-create and share the management of a common EHR enclave and interface on analytical approaches.


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