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Electronic health records: new opportunities for clinical research.

Coorevits, P; Sundgren, M; Klein, GO; Bahr, A; Claerhout, B; Daniel, C; ... Kalra, D; + view all (2013) Electronic health records: new opportunities for clinical research. J Intern Med 10.1111/joim.12119.

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Abstract

Clinical research is on the threshold of a new era in which electronic health records (EHRs) are gaining an important novel supporting role. While EHRs used for routine clinical care have some limitations at present, as discussed in this review, new improved systems and emerging research infrastructures are being developed to ensure that EHRs can be used for secondary purposes such as clinical research, including the design and execution of clinical trials for new medicines. EHR systems should be able to exchange information through the use of recently published international standards for their interoperability and clinically validated information structures (such as archetypes and international health terminologies), to ensure consistent and more complete recording and sharing of data for various patient groups. Such systems will counteract the obstacles of differing clinical languages and styles of documentation as well as the recognised incompleteness of routine records. Here we discuss some of the legal and ethical concerns of clinical research data reuse and technical security measures that can enable such research whilst protecting privacy. In the emerging research landscape, co-operation infrastructures are being built where research projects can utilise the availability of patient data from federated EHR systems from many different sites, as well as in international multi-lingual settings. Among several initiatives described, the EHR4CR project offers a promising method for clinical research. One of the first achievements of this project was the development of a protocol feasibility prototype which is used for finding patients eligible for clinical trials from multiple sources This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Electronic health records: new opportunities for clinical research.
DOI:10.1111/joim.12119
Keywords:clinical research, electronic health records, research ethics, research techniques
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > CHIME

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