An electronic medical record (EMR) provides in-depth information about the patient’s medical condition. It typically contains the details you would find in a patient’s chart, such as medical history, diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, and allergies, stored in digital format.

The rise in EMR implementation in clinical care has also increased the usage of electronic data capture (EDC) systems in clinical research and clinical trials. Clinical research organizations (CROs) and research coordinating centers have moved to EDC systems which allow onsite data entry for clinical studies. Integrating the EMR system with EDC supports single-source data for clinical trials. Study data are entered through EMR and then integrated with the EDC for analysis, coding, and review.

Following are some of the key advantages of using electronic medical record in clinical trials:

Accurate and efficient collection of clinical trial data mainly for multi-site trials. Standardizes the way in which data is stored and retrieved.
Ability to use existing EMR data in a clinical trial without having to manually re-enter the data.
Few studies may include data elements that apply only to that study. Customized EMR templates allow data capture for a specific study using discrete data elements.
Aids in capturing study-specific outcomes, such as treatment outcomes, treatment regimens, and adverse events.
Allows extraction of data in a discrete format for individual studies. Datasets that contain only the elements required for the study can be subsequently uploaded into the EDC system.
The use of EMR for recruitment in clinical trials provides a reliable and cost-effective recruiting methodology.
EMR reduces diagnostic and documentation errors and facilitates retrospective study analysis.

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