About fifteen years ago (yikes), I got a call from the practice I was just visiting in southern NJ. The doctor was looking for a report from Partner that would make his life easier. At the time, he needed some kind of age/gender registry count for something called PROS. I had never heard about it, but after a little pointed questioning, I was able to concoct a quick report and everything was set. Then, a few years later, another client from Oklahoma asked for more-or-less the same thing and mentioned PROS, too.
Little did I know that PROS was right in our back yard. I waltzed over to UVM and met Dr. Mort Wasserman and what I learned really excited me. PROS, in its own words, "improves the health of children and enhance primary care practice by conducting national collaborative practice-based research." As a practical matter, that means gathering data from as many "real" pediatric practices as possible in order to make the AAP's clinical guidelines as effective as possible.
Typically, the effort required from the practices is minimal. Mort and his crew do the hard work. And, depending on the study, perhaps your computer friends can do your work for you.
Anyway, our interest in promoting PROS has led to a couple of PCC newsletter articles and even Mort addressing folks at our Users' Conference. I don't know why more practices don't look into participating. I will say that when I walk into a peds office I haven't met before and see the PROS plaque on the wall, it's an office that will understand me on other issue.
Here's a copy of the latest PROS newsletter (Spring 2008). Take a look. Join.