Three ways your EHR can help manage clinical trials

Conducting clinical trials is a huge undertaking. From planning, obtaining approvals, finding patients, conducting the trial and analyzing the results, it is important for researchers to allow technology to assist where it can. Fortunately, using EHR systems offers several benefits in managing clinical trials.

1. EHR helps connect patients with clinical trials

One of the difficult components of managing clinical trials is obtaining the appropriate patients for the study. The interoperability of electronic health systems allows clinicians to coordinate alerts, triggers and notifications for patients who may qualify for the study. Specific diagnosis and patient demographic information can be programed to alert the clinician or practice about patients who qualify for a given study. The patient can be linked to the researchers and follow up contacts can be automated through an EHR system.

Recommended reading: find an EHR suited to managing clinical trials with our completely up-to-date EHR vendor directory

For many patients, lack of knowledge is a primary reason for not participating in studies. With EHR systems, patients can be offered expanded treatment options, which can increase patient participation in the study. By linking more patients with study information, the study will likely have more participants. With a bigger pool of patients, the clinical trial can yield better results that are more applicable to a greater patient population.

2. EHR systems reduce transcription errors

An important regulatory component of clinical trials is ensuring the validity and accuracy of the data that is being analyzed. For this reason, it is essential to find a means to minimize and ideally eliminate data error. By using EHR systems, clinicians can input data in real time, reducing transcription error or risk of losing data. The auto-save features of many EHR systems allows for data backup and reduced likelihood of losing information. Human error is a factor in research validity, so utilizing technology is a smart solution for minimizing these inaccuracies. EHR system features help ensure the accuracy and validity of clinical trials and their results.

3. EHR systems deliver accurate statistical analysis

Many EHR systems come with statistical analysis programming that can either run analytics or feed data into other programs. Because EHR systems capture data in real time, outcomes can be analyzed quicker, allowing for ongoing data analysis over the course of the study.

This offers the researchers the opportunity to determine if their study is going as planned before waiting until the end of the trial. Additionally, it offers a way of tracking the data normative values and outcomes that fall outside the expected range. Modifications to the study can be made if necessary and allowed before the trial is completed.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant