Winter 2014 Newsletter
This issue of our newsletter focuses on Yale’s IT initiatives and how Epic, the electronic medical record, and OnCore, the clinical research management system, are increasing the efficiency and quality of both clinical care and research.
Now that Epic, Yale’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, is in place across the entire Yale New Haven Health System, clinicians and patients are reaping the benefits of a single database poised to transform both clinical care and research.
From a research perspective, having information in disparate silos, whether paper files or separate EMRs, made it difficult to pull together data to look at patients globally across large numbers and long periods of time. Complex queries to identify patients who meet specific criteria were all but impossible. With Epic, all of Yale’s clinical data is in one place—in addition to scheduling and financial data—but there are also such other types of information as genomics data that are useful for research. “We need a common place to put that information so we can extract it, analyze it, and use it,” said Hsiao.
Yale is in the process of activating some of the clinical Best Practice Alerts (BPAs), Epic’s version of medical logic modules, which were not turned on during the go-live. “As we get feedback and experts determine whether an alert is useful or clinically relevant, we are fine-tuning them,” said Hsiao. The Epic team is conscious of alert fatigue and has turned off or dialed down alerts that fire too often. At the same time, team members are eager to provide clinicians with this quality improvement tool.
MyChart, the Epic portal that allows patients to access portions of their medical record and communicate with providers, continues to gain momentum, with several hundred active providers and over 40,000 users as of March 3. Besides increasing patient satisfaction and fulfilling meaningful use requirements under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, MyChart has the potential to become a key support for health initiatives that will benefit patients.
The completed rollout of Epic’s Enterprise electronic medical record (EMR) this past November and the continued implementation of OnCore, Yale’s clinical research management system (CRMS), are paving the way to an integrated information technology environment that fully supports research. Each system on its own plays a critical role in Yale’s success as a leading clinical research organization. Integrating the two platforms holds even more promise; and Yale stands on the leading edge of adopting new industry standards that enable increased integration between a CRMS and an EMR.
OnCore is helping investigators manage biospecimens through its Biospecimen Management (BSM) module, which supports all aspects of sample inventory management. From scheduling, collection, and annotation, through specimen processing, storage, and distribution, BSM can provide easy-to-use solutions with improved safety and security for your valuable samples while eliminating the risk of losing institutional knowledge through staff turnover. Paired with OnCore’s Unified Registries Managment (URM), which uses electronic case report forms for research subject registries and has the capacity to track clinical outcomes, BSM and URM represent an unprecedented opportunity to move laboratory-based research forward.
- Are you an investigator conducting research involving human subjects?
- Have you enrolled your first subject?
- Do you intend to publish the results of your study?
- Did you register your study on clinicaltrials.gov?
If you answered yes to the first three questions and no to the last one, your manuscript will be rejected by many publications.
In order to expand support for clinical research across the enterprise, Rhoda Arzoomanian, RN, MSM, will join Yale on April 1 as associate director of YCCI and Yale Cancer Center.