Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is an academic health center serving more than 275,000 patients annually. As a research institution as well as a healthcare provider, OHSU has traditionally relied upon advertising and personal physician networks to identify potential patients who might match the criteria for a clinical research trial. In any given study, this process might cost millions of dollars and take several years to identify an adequate number of patients.
A practicing family physician, Dr. Timothy Burdick also serves as OHSU’s Chief Clinical Informatics Officer. Dr. Burdick leads a team of informatics professionals to to leverage the power of OHSU’s EHR to more easily match patients with clinical researchers.
Through the work of the informatics team, OHSU can now query the EHR against a set of ideal parameters for research participants, and identify potential candidates with a high level of accuracy.
This new system also supports sending messages to upwards of 500 potentially qualified patients at a time through the patient portal, requesting their participation.
Expanding the use of EHR beyond the clinical realm can yield substantial benefits for researchers, patients, and physicians, and can streamline the research subject identification process.