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Why Relying on Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research May Be Hindering Your Hospital

Clinical trials are an important part of advancing healthcare, contributing to better treatments and outcomes for patients by helping doctors and researchers understand how diseases affect them.

Whether a hospital can optimize clinical trial enrollment plays a key role in their ultimate success or failure as a clinical trial site. If too few patients participate or don’t meet the criteria, the hospital will not be able to complete the trial.

Historically, medical researchers and clinical study directors have used electronic health records (EHRs) for clinical research support. In other words, they use the EHR to find eligible patients by manually sorting through it to identify candidates who match specific study criteria.

This process is cumbersome, and leads to inefficiencies both for the trial coordinators and for the trial itself. In addition, this time-consuming process often results in missed clinical trial enrollment opportunities, since many studies require that patients be enrolled within a specific period of time after a care episode or treatment.

Accelerating the Clinical Trial Patient Enrollment Process

New technology automatically filters through EHRs in real time to locate all eligible candidates within the healthcare system. Coordinators of clinical trials become unencumbered by manual searches, which supports the speed in which qualified patients can be reviewed and enrolled.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital has been using this technology since 2020, and DeAnn Cary, PhD, Director of Research, says it has significantly accelerated their enrollment process.

“VigiLanz Research has also enabled our small staff of clinical research coordinators to feel confident that they have not missed a single qualified potential research participant,” said Cary. “It has also enabled them to focus their time and energies on the patients who meet or nearly meet the study criteria, rather than having to manually review hundreds of patient charts.”

Key benefits of the new technology, she added, include the real-time patient identification for studies that have a very short timeline for identification and recruitment (e.g., cardiac and stroke).

Clinical trials are designed with one purpose: to help patients. If you need help finding patients for clinical trials in real time, consider VigiLanz Research. Contact us today if you’d like to see a demo of the product.