Linking EHR data key to maximizing clinical trial insights, Cerner exec says

Hospitals face challenges when conducting clinical trials, such as high costs, difficulty recruiting patients and a lack of resources. Health systems facing these obstacles can accelerate research by extracting insights from EHR data, according to a Jan. 11 blog post written by Christy Dueck, PhD, Cerner's vice president of clinical research and real world data.

Only 3 percent of patients and providers participate in clinical trials, according to a National Institutes of Health-backed study. Additionally, clinical trials often lack diversity, leading to treatments that may not be effective for all patients, according to a 2021 study published in JAMA Network Open.

Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., is an example of a system that used EHR data to extract insights. It conducted a study using diverse, nationwide EHR data to examine trends in emergency department opioid prescriptions for children with migraines, finding that white, female children were most likely to be prescribed opioids during an emergency department visit. 

The findings led Children's Mercy to change its EHR-based treatment guidelines and algorithms, which helped the hospital dramatically reduce its instances of prescribing opioids to children with migraines, said Jennifer Bickel, MD, a neurologist and clinical educator at the hospital.

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