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Health IT Vendors Partner on EHR-Based Clinical Research Network

Two health IT companies created an EHR-based clinical research network to streamline clinical trial recruitment and diversify patient participation.

Health IT vendors PRA Health Sciences, Inc. and Veradigm have partnered to create an EHR-based clinical research network that extends the clinical trial process into EHR workflows. 

The network aims to streamline the clinical trial recruitment process by integrating clinical research as a care option (CRAACO) into the EHRs of 40 million patients.

Representatives said the benefits of the network are two-fold; patients will have greater access to CRAACO, which will lead to more diverse clinical trial participation.

“The current approach to clinical trials is disconnected from healthcare delivery and requires manual data collection, which creates barriers for physicians and patients to participate,” Stephanie Reisinger, vice president and general manager of Veradigm’s Life Sciences Research business, said in a press release.

“Today, less than one percent of the US population participates in clinical research, despite patients’ willingness to participate if asked,” Reisinger continued. “Under this agreement, the Veradigm and PRA-led network aims to transform the clinical research processes by extending EHR workflows to include clinical research as well as fully leveraging the rich data from digital healthcare delivery.”

The network will also aid clinical trial sites and sponsors by simplifying two of the most lengthy and costly stages of a clinical trial: data management and monitoring.

Most of the data needed for these clinical trial stages already exists in EHR systems, representatives noted.

PRA’s health IT allows for automated data transfers from Veradigm’s EHRs to an electronic data capture system. Access to this data allows clients to cut back on administrative burden and mitigate transcription errors without the need for costly source data verification.

Ultimately, the vendors hope this network will lead to improved data quality and a more efficient clinical trial process from start to finish.

“Integrating clinical research and clinical care is the model for achieving the best patient outcomes and for lowering costs for sponsors, physicians, and patients alike,” said Kent Thoelke, executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, PRA Health Sciences.

“With this partnership and network, we are leading the industry by expanding clinical research as a care option (CRAACO) to patients who have never had an opportunity to participate,” Thoelke continued. “We are evolving and modernizing the drug development paradigm by integrating it with everyday healthcare delivery.”

EHR vendor Cerner has a similar clinical research network in place to enhance the clinical research process. Last year, the Cerner Learning Health Network welcomed MedStar Health as its first health system partner.

“We are proud to be one of the first health systems in this innovative approach to clinical research,” Neil J. Weissman, MD, president of MedStar Health Research Institute and chief scientific officer for MedStar Health, said in a press release at the time of the announcement. “Using a network of academic health systems, linked with streamlined electronic data, will transform the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical trials.”

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