Dr James Hamrick Highlights How Technology Eases Burdens on Research Staff

Technology can be used to make it easier for patients and practices to participate in clinical trials, while also easing some of the burden on research staff, said James Hamrick, MD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente and Flatiron Health.

Technology can be used to make it easier for patients and practices to participate in clinical trials, while also easing some of the burden on research staff, said James Hamrick, MD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente and Flatiron Health.

Transcript

How is technology making it a little easier to enroll patients in clinical trials and manage these trials?

I think of technology as a tool that can make clinical trials a little bit less disruptive to the clinical workflow and a little bit less burdensome on the research staff. So an example: if you can design within your electronic medical record, a way that you can capture disease factors—think biomarkers, like EGFR or ROS or ALK in lung cancer—if you can capture those in structured data fields, then you can start to use that as a filter for screening patients for the trial. That makes the work of the research team significantly easier, because they don’t have to go through every patient who comes to the practice.

It also increases your hit rate, so you’re less likely to miss patients who are coming through your doors that could be a candidate for a trial if you have that automated safety net running in the background.

In addition, I think there’s a huge opportunity for technology to change the way we capture data in clinical trials. So, most trials, right now, there’s a duplicative data entry process. The patient comes in and is seen, there clinical care is documented as it normally would be, and then a research staff member has to go into an electronic data capture (EDC) format and reenter the data. Dual data entry is obviously burdensome and time consuming and slows things down. If you can have the EHR directly populate the EDC that would be transformative in getting really high-quality data in a really timely manner, which is what sponsors are looking for.