The City of Hope Information System recently received an upgrade that linked two key clinical trials data systems to the main patient care information system. The links aim to improve safety by notifying medical team members that patients are enrolled in trials and identifying the studies involved.
Staff members from the Information Technology Services (ITS) and Research Information Sciences departments created the connections, which aim to make patient information more accessible to medical staff and support decisions about care, according to Alexandra Levine, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer and deputy director for clinical programs of the comprehensive cancer center.
|New database links will inform City of Hope medical staff about patients’ enrollment in clinical trials. (Photo by Markie Ramirez)|
“As City of Hope strives to provide outstanding patient care, safety and quality remain our top priorities,” said Levine. “An important element of patient safety and quality care is ensuring all members of the care team have easy access to pertinent patient data.”
The links connect the Sunrise Acute Care system with the Medical Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) and the Clinical Trials On-Line system.
The Sunrise Acute Care system is the main electronic system medical staff members now use to care for their patients. MIDAS tracks patient participation on experimental treatment studies. Clinical research staff members enter information required for a given study, such as patient diagnosis and dates and types of experimental treatments.
Now that the systems are connected, medical staff using the Sunrise system will see a special notice on the computer screen when they are reviewing information for a patient enrolled in a clinical trial. The link updates continuously to keep staff aware of all patients enrolled in studies.
Clinical Trials On-Line is City of Hope’s main database for managing information and documents for more than 400 ongoing clinical studies. The system catalogs trials by protocol type and provides summaries and decision support for each study.
Linking Clinical Trials On-Line with the Sunrise Acute Care system will enable medical care team members to quickly identify each patient’s clinical trials to ensure proper management of that patient’s care and avoid possible treatment conflicts, such as prescribing medications that could interfere with the clinical study.
According to Levine, the Clinical Trials On-Line link will go live in a few weeks and will eliminate many of the extra steps staff members currently take to find critical patient information. The move will help avoid errors, she said.
“We are excited to provide this added functionality to the City of Hope Information System and to support City of Hope’s mission of excellent patient care,” she added.
Joyce Niland, Ph.D., Edward and Estelle Alexander Chair in Information Sciences and chair of the Department of Research Information Sciences, presented the new links and highlighted the collaboration between her department and ITS at the American Medical Informatics Association Clinical Research Informatics Summit in San Francisco in mid-March. The project received an award recognizing it as one of the best presented at the meeting.