How electronic records can cut clinical trial costs, yield more reliable results
- A study conducted in the UK has shown that using electronic medical records (EMRs) is less expensive than conducting traditionally designed clinical trials that require a great deal of paperwork.
- Recruitment of subjects is more straightforward, because investigators are able to determine which patients are eligible using search functionality.
- EMRs make it possible for researchers to better understand health patterns in large, diverse patient groups.
The study, which included 300 people, evaluated use of statins in people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. It also evaluated the use of antibiotics in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There are multiple advantages associated with using EMRs in clinical trials. One is that patients are not burdened by excess paperwork or any activity beyond complying with their physician’s instructions and agreeing to be part of a study. On the researcher side, using EMRs provides a source of real-world data that can help the research team track the impact of various medications, while looking for other patterns related to the therapeutic interventions used.