DALLAS, November 15, 2019 – A new collaboration building on the strengths of the American Heart Association and the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) in cardiovascular research and data science will deliver insights to enhance quality of treatment for cardiovascular disease and improve patient outcomes.  

The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, collects patient data from more than 2,000 hospitals in its Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) quality improvement programs. The Association and the DCRI will collaborate to design and conduct pragmatic randomized clinical trials in existing real-world nationwide registries. In addition to pragmatic trials, the strategic alliance will also investigate implementation of best-practices to treat cardiovascular illness, improve outcomes, and reduce suffering.

The DCRI is a leader in pragmatic approaches in clinical research. The DCRI, in collaboration with PCORnet, pioneered the ADAPTABLE study, which recently completed enrollment of 15,000 patients using real-world data from electronic health records.

“We are delighted to expand our collaboration and research initiatives with the American Heart Association. Our experience in conducting pragmatic trials makes the DCRI a logical partner for applying pragmatic clinical design approaches with Association’s data-rich Get With The Guidelines program. By uniting our experience and leadership in clinical trials and operational expertise with the Association’s repository and experience in quality improvement, together we can create new clinical evidence and glean insights that will advance cardiovascular health, inform treatment guidelines, and accelerate the adoption of scientific discoveries into clinical practice,” said Jonathan Piccini, M.D., MHS, the principal investigator of the GWTG analytic center at the DCRI.

“The role of real-world data and real-world evidence in health care decision making is continuing to grow,” said John Warner, executive vice president for health system affairs at UT Southwestern and American Heart Association volunteer expert.  “This new collaboration with the DCRI will help us to more effectively use our patient-level and hospital-level data to not only inform guideline developments but also generate new and innovative treatment approaches.”

The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) data registry is composed of five modules focused on various patient conditions including stroke, heart failure, AFib, resuscitation, and coronary artery disease. Each module shares the goal of improving patient care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. 

“The premise of the data registry and the quality improvement programs that follow is that when medical professionals apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve,” said Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association. “Combining the reach of the American Heart Association’s connection to more than 2,000 hospitals and millions of patient data records with the real-world data research experience of the DCRI brings tremendous potential for upcoming pragmatic clinical trials that will result in healthier patients.” 


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke–two of the leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is one of the world’s oldest and largest voluntary organizations dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.heart.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Duke Clinical Research Institute

The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), part of the Duke University School of Medicine, is the largest academic research organization in the world. Its mission is to develop and share knowledge that improves the care of patients through innovative clinical research. The DCRI conducts groundbreaking multinational clinical trials, manages major national patient registries, and performs landmark outcomes research. DCRI research spans multiple disciplines, from pediatrics to geriatrics, primary care to subspecialty medicine, and genomics to proteomics. The DCRI also is home to the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Diseases, the largest and oldest institutional cardiovascular database in the world, which continues to inform clinical decision-making more than 45 years after its founding.

Media Contact:

Karen Springs for the American Heart Association

Karen.Springs@heart.org; 214-706-4831

Susan Landis for Duke Clinical Research Institute

Susan.Landis@duke.edu; 919-668-5769