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New York group aims to speed recruitment with e-records

By Gareth Macdonald , 28-Jun-2010
Last updated on 28-Jun-2010 at 12:51 GMT

A US group representing hospitals in New York wants to accelerate clinical research process by improving trial access to electronic patient records, while maintaining patient privacy.

The Partnership to Advance Clinical Electronic Research (PACeR), under the leadership of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), will examine ways of integrating electronic medical data into clinical research

A HANYS spokesman explained that: “The adoption of electronic medical records by health care providers has resulted in emerging databases of information that will be tremendously valuable to medical research.

PACeR’s ultimate goal is to link these data resources with clinical trials in a manner that greatly improves research and patient outcomes, while ensuring data and privacy protections.”

The ultimate aim is to develop online tools that notify a physician if a patient meets with the inclusion criteria of a particular study which, PACeR chair David Krusch, believes will improve on current “cumbersome” recruitment processes.

Krusch told the Wall Street Journal that: “Typically, trial operators would recruit patients from a hospital or medical center by hanging fliers in the cafeteria or in waiting rooms.

The PACeR group also believe that confidentiality will be maintained because only a patient’s physician will be notified of eligibility, at which point patient consent must still be obtained.

Pfizer, Quintiles

The PACeR scheme is funded by a number of leading US clinical research sites as well and Drug Administration (FDA), several data management companies and a number of representatives from the pharmaceutical sector.

Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Merck & Co lead the list of drug companies that have signed up to the scheme with Quintiles being the foremost representative of the contract research sector to have joined the partnership.

The plan is to develop standard protocols that assess patients’ clinical trial eligibility in the next 12 months and roll out the scheme gradually over the next two years.

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