HCA Healthcare forms consortium with AHRQ and research institutions to accelerate COVID-19 research

Two male scientists and one female scientist wearing personal protective equipment while working in a lab.

HCA Healthcare is proud to announce that we’ve formed a consortium of prominent public and private research institutions to use HCA Healthcare’s vast data on COVID-19 hospital care to improve patient outcomes and public knowledge. The institutions – including the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ), Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Meharry Medical College, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, and others – will gain access to the data in a research program directed by the HCA Healthcare Research Institute (HRI).

Scale accelerates learning 

As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare collects and analyzes data from its approximately 35 million annual patient encounters to develop technologies and best practices to improve patient care. With support from HCA Healthcare’s Sarah Cannon Research Institute and its precision medicine platform, Genospace, HCA Healthcare created a COVID-19 patient registry at the outset of the pandemic that has since captured data from treating more suspected and positive COVID-19 cases than any other health system in the United States, including more than 110,000 patients who were admitted for inpatient care in 2020.

“Scale accelerates learning. As HCA Healthcare’s learning network has treated more COVID-19 inpatients than any other health system in the U.S., this innovative public, private and academic sector partnership accelerates the understanding of COVID-19 and its treatment in a manner that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere and serves as a model for addressing the nation’s most pressing healthcare questions,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, president, clinical operations group, and chief medical officer of HCA Healthcare.

Using data to improve COVID-19 patient outcomes and advance public knowledge 

The COVID-19 Consortium of HCA Healthcare and Academia for Research GEneration (CHARGE) provides a framework for cooperation and coordination among all members to pose and test research questions, scrutinize and validate methods, and, most importantly, share and act on ambitious and innovative ideas that will help lead to impactful results. The group will use a technology platform, provided by DataFleets, that allows multiple collaborators to explore trends in a protected environment that obscures individually-identifying information.

“AHRQ is pleased to have been part of establishing this innovative partnership,” said David Meyers, MD, Acting Director, AHRQ. “We believe it has both the potential to rapidly produce new evidence to improve the safety and quality of care for people with COVID-19 and serve as a model for the development of a national learning health system. Using data to produce new evidence that enhances the quality, safety and value of healthcare delivery is at the core of AHRQ’s mission.”

Members of COVID-19 CHARGE Include:

The consortium will start with retrospective studies in the short term, such as evaluating the efficacy and safety of treatments used for COVID-19, improving overall understanding of the root cause for clinical outcomes, and developing novel predictive models. The insights gained from this research may lead to future clinical trials.

“Access to HCA Healthcare’s vast data repository will greatly accelerate the pace of discovery of new knowledge related to systems and approaches to care for patients with COVID-19. To put it succinctly, this initiative will help save lives,” said Shoshana J. Herzig, MD, MPH, Director of Hospital Medicine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The HCA Healthcare Research Institute leverages the capabilities and expertise of HCA Healthcare’s Sarah Cannon Research Institute to expand research support beyond its core expertise in oncology. Sarah Cannon Research Institute is one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations, conducting community-based clinical trials throughout the United States and United Kingdom. HCA Healthcare and HRI believe that collaboration with institutions focused on research related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 global pandemic leverages the collective expertise of the members involved, advancing institutional and national research, scientific, and clinical missions for the benefit of humanity.

Related: HCA Healthcare’s Dr. Perlin discusses COVID-19 with Modern Healthcare

Related: HCA Healthcare discusses innovative efforts to expand ICU capacity

About Sarah Cannon

Sarah Cannon Research Institute is one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials. A leader in drug development, Sarah Cannon has led more than 450 first-in-human oncology clinical trials since its inception in 1993 and has been a clinical trial leader in the majority of approved cancer therapies over the last 10 years. Beyond cancer, Sarah Cannon has a dedicated team of experts leading HCA Healthcare’s clinical research platform in many other critical therapeutic areas. To learn more about Sarah Cannon, visit

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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