Healthcare providers record information in electronic health records (EHR), also called ‘routine-collected healthcare records’. These could be at a hospital or a GP surgery, and can be collected into national databases and registries.
Using EHR in research could make trials run more efficiently by:
- Finding potential participants more easily
- Ensure the diversity of people in the trial is close to the population
- Decrease effort in data collection and data entry at sites by removing duplication of effort
- Decrease the need for monitors to visit sites to check data
- Follow-up participants over a longer period
- Potentially increase the number of clinical trials being undertaken
Ultimately, this will lead to more accurate and representative information, resulting in better prevention of disease and treatment for patients. By decreasing effort and costs, it should allow much research to be done from the same funding envelope.
Cardiff University Centre for Trials Research, in collaboration with ICO and the UKCRC, have created a resource for researchers called CENTRIC focusing on enhancing researchers understanding of public perspectives and governance requirements when working with administrative data.