Our proprietary applications, program design and strong partnerships help us to recruit patients into clinic-based research projects.
One of the national and local goals of projects like REACHnet is to improve patient healthcare outcomes, and to learn more about their treatment at a truly granular level. To do this, we’ve designed and implemented a research application suite called Health in Our Hands (HiOH) for recruitment and engagement with patients during their onsite encounters.
Potentially eligible patients for studies are identified based on clinical inclusion and exclusion criteria. A query for these eligibility criteria is applied to the REACHnet common data model to retrieve the unique identifiers of potentially eligible patients to approach for recruitment into the study. Using the clinical database to identify eligible patients removes the burden on research staff of reviewing individual patient records to determine eligibility. Moreover, the REACHnet datamart combines patient records across partner health systems to create more complete, longitudinal records. This increases the likelihood that the required clinical inclusion and exclusion criteria are available for determining patients’ eligibility for specific studies.
Patients use the Recruitment App in exam rooms during regular clinic visits to facilitate recruitment for pragmatic trials at the point of care. The App delivers information about a trial to eligible patients identified in the REACHnet clinical database. The determination of which trial information to display for a given patient is automated based on their clinical characteristics, which greatly increases the efficiency of identifying and approaching patients for study recruitment. The App displays a short informational video about the trial, asks if the patient is interested in participating, asks applicable screening questions, and refers eligible and interested patients to research staff for enrollment.
For low risk studies, electronic informed consent can be collected using the Recruitment App. The e-consent process may include a brief video that explains key consent information, the consent form for patients to read, and comprehension questions to confirm that they understand the risks and requirements of participation in the study. The App also includes a help option that refers patients to research staff for help completing the informed consent, if requested. E-consent reduces the amount of research staff time needed to enroll participants into a study and further increases the efficiency of electronic study recruitment.