Pediatric Research in an Office-Setting Network
Zahi Grossman, Ernesto Kahan, Samuel Gross, Shai Ashkenazi, Itamar Shalit
Kupat Holim Maccabi, Tel Aviv; Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association; Dept. of Family Medicine, Tel Aviv University; and Schneider Children's Medical Center, Petah Tikva
Pediatric care in the community is gradually replacing traditional care in hospitals. Despite that, research activity in the community setting is minimal due to objective difficulties. These are mainly constraints of time, office work and lack of research-supporting logistics. In the past decade, throughout the world, primary physicians interested in research have grouped together and formed research networks. The aim of such networks is to support and promote research in the community.
An Israel Pediatric Research in Office-Setting network (IPROS) was established 2 years ago by the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association (IAPA). Today, there are over 140 pediatricians listed in IPROS, representing the heterogeneous composition of pediatricians in Israel. The network's policy is defined by a joint steering committee. The committee is composed of IAPA representatives, senior network members and Schneider Hospital senior investigators. The research subjects are diverse, and represent common practical issues.
Effective intra-net communication is vital to the existence of the network, and is accomplished by 3 modalities: 1) semiannual updates by mail, 2) e-mail, using an electronic mailing list to facilitate connection between members, 3) semi-annual meetings. Research budgets are derived from public sources like the Ministry of Health and IAPA, and private sources such as pharmaceutical companies. The administration of the network is supported by Schneider Children's Medical Center, and financed by IAPA.