Using EHRs to integrate research with patient care: promises and challenges
ABSTRACT Clinical research is the foundation for advancing the practice of medicine. However, the lack of seamless integration between clinical research and patient care workflow impedes recruitment efficiency, escalates research costs, and hence threatens the entire clinical research enterprise. Increased use of electronic health records (EHRs) holds promise for facilitating this integration but must surmount regulatory obstacles. Among the unintended consequences of current research oversight are barriers to accessing patient information for prescreening and recruitment, coordinating scheduling of clinical and research visits, and reconciling information about clinical and research drugs. We conclude that the EHR alone cannot overcome barriers in conducting clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research. Patient privacy and human subject protection policies should be clarified at the local level to exploit optimally the full potential of EHRs, while continuing to ensure participant safety. Increased alignment of policies that regulate the clinical and research use of EHRs could help fulfill the vision of more efficiently obtaining clinical research evidence to improve human health.
- SourceAvailable from: Chunhua Weng[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We describe a clinical research visit scheduling system that can potentially coordinate clinical research visits with patient care visits and increase efficiency at clinical sites where clinical and research activities occur simultaneously. Participatory Design methods were applied to support requirements engineering and to create this software called Integrated Model for Patient Care and Clinical Trials (IMPACT). Using a multi-user constraint satisfaction and resource optimization algorithm, IMPACT automatically synthesizes temporal availability of various research resources and recommends the optimal dates and times for pending research visits. We conducted scenario-based evaluations with 10 clinical research coordinators (CRCs) from diverse clinical research settings to assess the usefulness, feasibility, and user acceptance of IMPACT. We obtained qualitative feedback using semi-structured interviews with the CRCs. Most CRCs acknowledged the usefulness of IMPACT features. Support for collaboration within research teams and interoperability with electronic health records and clinical trial management systems were highly requested features. Overall, IMPACT received satisfactory user acceptance and proves to be potentially useful for a variety of clinical research settings. Our future work includes comparing the effectiveness of IMPACT with that of existing scheduling solutions on the market and conducting field tests to formally assess user adoption.Journal of Biomedical Informatics 05/2013; 46(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jbi.2013.05.001
- Pain 03/2013; 154(5). DOI:10.1016/j.pain.2013.02.034
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ABSTRACT: EMRs are essential in modern healthcare. At the same time there has been the rapid development of clinical research systems (CRS) which offer specific tools to facilitate research protocol development, execution and management. However, examples of integrating a commercial EMR and CRS are rare. We describe our experience in the analysis, resolution of issues, design, and implementation of EMR/CR integration in a large academic medical center with affiliated hospitals. Our initial results suggest that (1) neither the EMR nor CRS system alone will suffice to facilitate clinical research, (2) there are important benefits to integration of the EMR and CRS systems and (3) this integration can be leveraged across multiple institutions.03/2013; 2013:209-213.