SAPORO is currently the only family medicine practice-based research network in the tri-state delta area and consists of 5 groups at 9 different sites, including LSU Family Medicine Residency programs at Kenner, Bogalusa, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, LA, Tulane Uptown and Lakeside Family Medicine practices, Baton Rouge General Family Medicine Residency program, East Jefferson General Hospital Family Medicine Residency program, and a private clinic in Marrero. We were established in 2014.

What is a practice-based research network?

PBRN's are groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based health care questions and translate research findings into practice.  PBRNs engage clinicians in quality improvement activities and an evidence-based culture in primary care practice to improve the health of all Americans. 

This definition includes a sense of ongoing commitment to network activities and an organizational structure that transcends a single research project. PBRN's often link practicing clinicians with investigators experienced in clinical and health services research, while at the same time enhancing the research skills of the network members.

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ) as of August 2020, there are 185 PBRNs registered with the AHRQ PBRN Resource Center.  These networks represent practices from all 50 states and over 25 countries.

What types of data does SAPORO include in studies?

In our initial study, called a PRINS study, we collected basic demographic data, such as patient age, gender, location (rural, urban), disease status, and visit types of our clinic partners throughout the region. The demographic information gathered showed a homogeneity of patients across member clinic sites, as well as top chronic conditions managed that were representative of those found across the nation. Data also showed a discordance between physicians' perceptions of prevalence of certain reported conditions. 

What is the current study aiming to research?

During 2020, SAPORO is conducting a quality improvement project to increase Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening in family medicine clinics.  This quality improvement project is designed to increase aortic abdominal screening in men, age 65-75, who have ever smoked.  A similar type study was conducted during 2018/2019, for improving colon cancer screening for at risk individuals, 50-75 years of age.  A 2016/2017 SAPORO study focused on determining the health literacy of our patient populations as low levels of literacy have been shown to be associated with poorer health outcomes. This study focused on smartphones and their applications, health and fitness apps on the market, and the effects they have on health and obesity, and chart review comparing patients' weight at the time of survey administration with 12 months prior.