Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PURPOSE The learning health care system refers to the cycle of turning health care data into knowledge, translating that knowledge into practice, and creating new data by means of advanced information technology. The electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN) was a project, funded by the US National Institutes of Health, with the aim to facilitate clinical research using primary care electronic health records (EHRs). METHODS We identifi ed the requirements necessary to deliver clinical studies via a distributed electronic network linked to EHRs. After we explored a variety of informatics solutions, we constructed a functional prototype of the software. We then explored the barriers to adoption of the prototype software within US practice-based research networks. RESULTS We developed a system to assist in the identifi cation of eligible cohorts from EHR data. To preserve privacy, counts and fl agging were performed remotely, and no data were transferred out of the EHR. A lack of batch export facilities from EHR systems and ambiguities in the coding of clinical data, such as blood pressure, have so far prevented a full-scale deployment. We created an international consortium and a model for sharing further ePCRN development across a variety of ongoing projects in the United States and Europe. CONCLUSIONS A means of accessing health care data for research is not suffi cient in itself to deliver a learning health care system. EHR systems need to use sophisticated tools to capture and preserve rich clinical context in coded data, and business models need to be developed that incentivize all stakeholders from clinicians to vendors to participate in the system.

Original publication

DOI

10.1370/afm.1313

Type

Journal article

Journal

Annals of Family Medicine

Publication Date

01/01/2012

Volume

10

Pages

54 - 59