Using Health Informatics to Increase Study Recruitment


We are delighted to announce our poster “Using Health Informatics to Increase Study Recruitment” won the prize for the Most promising infrastructure development/initiative to improve clinical research potential (nationally) at Monday’s NRS Conference.

Poster Abstract: Using Health Informatics to Increase Study Recruitment

Shona Brearley on behalf of the Scottish Diabetes Research Network Executive Group.

Recruitment to target is the greatest challenge to successfully completing research studies on time and budget. The SDRN Research Register was designed so that patients could proactively record their interest in participating in diabetes research and researchers could efficiently identify eligible patients for their studies.

Interested patients complete a ‘permission to contact’ form, which is then electronically recorded on the National Clinical Database (SCI-Diabetes). On personal approach by a healthcare professional, approximately 70% of patients agree to join the Research Register, with a 50 % positive response from an invitation letter. Currently there are 7508 diabetes patients on the Research Register (end July 2012).

Researchers contact SDRN with their eligibility criteria for a study and these criteria are used to search the Research Register to find patients who match the criteria exactly. As the Research Register sits on top of the National Clinical Database, the search function uses the very latest clinical informationto identify suitable patients for this study. The researcher receives a list of names and contact details of eligible patients via secure NHS link within 48 hours of requesting the search.

The SDRN Research Register is particularly efficient in identifying patients for very complex clinical studies which have very specific eligibility criteria and has resulted in NHS Scotland having secured several top UK and Global Recruiter status for complex clinical trials.

The SDRN Research Register has also been a major factor in increasing the numbers of diabetes patients in studies since its inception. From 2655 patients in 2007 to 8830 patients in 2011 and over 10,000 patients in 2012. The Research Register clearly demonstrates its worth as a recruitment tool for clinical research.

SDRN Annual Reports, 2007-2012.

Using Health Informatic to increase Study Recruitment