Thoughtful preparation of a research laboratory is an early step in designing a program for scientific investigation. The Division of General Internal Medicine at Indiana University has maintained a "laboratory" for outpatient clinical investigation for more than 15 years. In this report, we describe the structure and function of the General Medicine Practice in the Regenstrief Health Center on the campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Specifically, we discuss the ongoing random allocation of subjects, the local resources for data management and tracking of patients' use of clinical services, and how combining this information system into a randomized primary care system has fostered successful ventures in clinical investigation.
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