Article | January 9, 2013

CTMS And EMR Software: Why Integration Is Necessary

Source: Forte Research Systems, Inc.

By Tony O'Hare

Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems are separate applications that are created for different functions. This is good because both types of systems are specialized to cater to the unique needs of the institutions that use them. In the case of a CTMS, user institutions can gain enormous benefit from specialized functionality to manage operational data for all of their clinical trials, comply with various regulatory and internal reporting requirements, and capture clinical data for research subjects. EMR systems are developed to manage information related to the healthcare needs of individual patients.

Forte has long supported integration with hospital systems in order to obtain patient demographics data and laboratory data for patients participating in clinical trials.  This serves to eliminate the need for research staff to re-enter this data into a CTMS and, thereby, helps to eliminate data transcription errors.

However, there is also an opportunity for information to flow from a CTMS to an EMR to help with both patient safety and patient billing. Patient safety can be better served when healthcare providers can use the EMR to identify that their patient is enrolled in a clinical trial.  Similarly, having the latest billing grid information from the clinical trial management system available to inform patient billing helps ensure Medicare/Medicaid billing compliance.

Recognizing that this is imperative to the effectiveness of patient care and clinical trial operations, Forte has been collaborating with the Epic company and institutions that use both Epic EMR and Forte eClinical systems to integrate clinical trial enrollment information and the billing grid for each clinical trial. This collaboration lays the groundwork for EMR integration between the OnCore eClinical solution and additional EMR software systems.

The need for systems integration has never been more important. The technology is there, but it must be a priority for all stakeholders to move it forward. The future of patient care and clinical research depends on it.

Learn more about the most widely adopted eClinical solution among academic medical centers, research hospitals, and cancer centers.