The increased uptake of electronic health records in healthcare facilities presents benefits to management and practitioners in general. Moreover, the records support investigators’ intent to conduct clinical trials to introduce improved clinical practices. Some merits that result from the use of electronic health records in clinical trials include reduced research costs, improved investigations’ execution time, and increased operability. Other benefits that accrue to researchers from using electronic records include data flexibility, the promotion of patients’ privacy, and continued support if the investigators lose the data. Above all, using electronic health records means that empiricists can execute multiple trials to increase the likelihood of generating reliable results.
On the contrary, the use of electronic health records entails challenges, examples of which are inadequate funds and a lack of interoperability among different architectures. However, the merits that accrue to practitioners and patients due to embracing the technology exceed the limitations. The purpose of this research paper is to persuade researchers and healthcare institutions to embrace the use of electronic health records in clinical trials for improved research endeavors and, subsequently, comprehensive care practices.
Electronic Health Records’ Role in Facilitating Effective Clinical Trials’ Administration
The role of research in healthcare cannot be underestimated. In this context, inquiries are responsible for the exploration and development of tests and treatments, including determining their effects on human health. Clinical trials, which comprise the healthcare research experiments, conventionally involved a fair share of difficulties that often interfered with accurate results. One of the challenges relates to the inability to obtain reliable patient and care data. However, the advent of electronic health records implies effectiveness in the administration of clinical trials. Empiricists have registered an increase in efficiency and effectiveness of clinical trials due to electronic health records’ availability. Indeed, technology has simplified healthcare research endeavors a great deal.
The Importance of the Topic
Electronic health records continue to gain acceptability in healthcare settings, wherein they represent a break from the traditional norm of handwritten documents. Electronic health records present multiple benefits in managing healthcare facilities due to the efficient storage and convenience involved in retrieving records. Other than managing institutions, electronic health records support the execution of clinical trials, which form the basis for developing new treatment approaches (Pendergrass& Crawford, 2019). In this context, clinical trials have become more efficient and effective due to the use of electronic records use. Despite the technology’s widespread uptake, it is worth noting that some healthcare institutions express laxity in embracing electronic health records. In this case, failure to implement the technology could result from a lack of benefits that result from the endeavor. In like manner, some facilities’ leaders could have learned about the perceived benefits that organizations could draw from electronic health records. However, the heads may not have gained conviction regarding the merits (Pikoula et al., 2019). Some organizations may have implemented electronic health records on a different note, but the researchers involved in clinical trials may not be receptive to the technology. The analysis executed in this paper seeks to persuade healthcare facilities’ leaders about the absolute benefits that result from the use of electronic health records. In like manner, this paper’s evaluation highlights electronic health records’ support for clinical trials to convince researchers that the use of such records is necessary. It is worth noting that the analysis presents overall benefits to the healthcare sector by making it easy to promote comprehensive care practices. Furthermore, the understanding of electronic health records’ simplification of clinical trials encourages many potential researchers to embrace inquiries. Remarkably, an increase in passionate researchers executing clinical trials implies the likelihood of general improvement in care practices and, subsequently, improved recovery outcomes.
In Nordo et al. (2019), the authors argue that the reuse of electronic health records for clinical research presents numerous benefits. In this context, some potential benefits that would result from the practice above include introducing new therapies to patients sooner and potentially low costs. In like manner, the reuse of records accelerates learning health cycles to introduce new practices frequently. Other notable benefits that would result from the use of electronic health records include saving time, streamlining the workflow, and a general improvement in data quality. The article also underscores the need for collaboration in records, wherein the writers need to streamline, among other aspects, data ownership and access and data structuring. Moreover, clinical trials would be necessary to rely on electronic health records to adopt global research standards. In a nutshell, electronic health records have led to improved clinical research, with room to provide and enhance high-quality information and subsequently high-quality benefits to all patients.
In Mc Cord and Hemkens (2019), the writers posit that it is possible to integrate randomized controlled trials into routine care using electronic health records. In this context, the authors argue that the practice can support large-scale and pragmatic trials, with the ability to generalize trials for convenience. The current scenario entails using electronic health records in randomized trials as part of intervention at the expense of incorporating the practice in routine care. The material provides that the use of electronic health records presents notable benefits to randomized controlled trials and addresses traditional RCTs’ limitations. Some perceived benefits in the process would include reduced research costs and time and expanded research fields. In like manner, the use of electronic health records effectively supports the democratization of research agendas, the outcome of which is the possibility to contest research findings and subsequently comprehensive care practices. It should not escape the reader’s attention that the use of electronic health records involves some challenges. Some examples of the limitations include infrastructure costs, standardization, data quality, security, and data privacy considerations.
In Cowie et al. (2017), the investigators posit that electronic health records provide opportunities to improve patient care and facilitate clinical inquiries. In like manner, specialized records present the chance to embed performance measures in clinical practice for convenience. In this case, the records address some ongoing challenges in clinical trials, examples of which include recruitment challenges in trials and tedious and obtrusive data collection techniques. Furthermore, electronic health records technology addresses the uncertain generalizability of results in traditional data for clinical trials. The writers argue that electronic health records’ application in randomized clinical trials can lead to an assessment of study feasibility and streamline data collection at baseline and follow-up. Unlike other empiricists, the researchers provide that the use of electronic health records entails the challenge that relates to enforcing data security and privacy. Similarly, the technology involves the limitation of linking divergent systems and sustaining infrastructure for repeated data use.
In Abdel-Kader and Jhamb (2020), the two authors argue that the nephrology community considers abandoning randomized controlled trials, the adverse effects being hitches in the generation of clinical practice guidelines. On the same note, the trials interfere with the enhancement of healthcare policy formulation and implementation. The unfortunate scenario results from some factors, one of which is a lack of adequate research funding. Other factors include limited adherence to interventions, scarcity of nephrology researchers, and feasibility barriers. The authors provide that electronic health records have become ubiquitous, particularly in developed countries, wherein stakeholders leverage the records to improve randomized trials’ execution. Notably, the authors posit that electronic health records’ role in randomized trials extends beyond the availability of secondary research data. A remarkable benefit that electronic records provide is the faster speed in discovering clinical advances, much to the benefits of patients and healthcare facilities.
The use of electronic health records in clinical trials is a topic that has been under exploration for a long. In this context, many researchers have delved into the topic, wherein they explore electronic health records’ role in facilitating the trials. Some generic merits that many empiricists identify include reduced trials’ time and costs (Mc Cord et al., 2019). In like manner, the researchers have observed that electronic records support collaboration among researchers for opportune care practices. However, some generic merits vary. Electronic health records are not devoid of challenges, such as the lack of adequate funding and infrastructure harmonization challenges. The limitations, notwithstanding, the researchers generally agree that the use of electronic health records implies a boost to randomized clinical trials a great deal. This paper discusses the benefits of the healthcare sector due to the enhanced use of electronic records. Some benefits include interoperability, flexibility, and support for repeated clinical trials. On the same note, clinical trials’ simplification encourages young people to study and embrace research much to the masses’ benefits.
Conversely, electronic health records help clinical trials’ learners to understand the various clinical practices that are in use today. Therefore, the learners’ curiosity regarding the development trials increases leading to a high frequency of care practices development. It should not escape the reader’s attention that the use of electronic health records presents experimental freedom to researchers due to the assurance that a backup copy of the records exists.
Consequently, the researchers potentially examine a range of practices without worry, hence the likelihood that they may identify comprehensive care practices (Raman et al., 2018). Above all, electronic health records involve the use of limited analytic resources due to data features, such as a lack of redundancy. The situation means that virtually every healthcare facility can potentially engage in clinical trials without the necessity for sophisticated equipment. The use of records previously posed the difficulty of exposure of patient information to researchers. The practice is inappropriate since some medics could harbor malicious intentions and use the data for wrong reasons. However, electronic health records make it possible to secure patients’ information since it is possible to filter the fields that would enable researchers to identify patients.
Electronic Health Records impact of Reduced Clinical Trials’ Costhe t
An impact that electronic healthcare records present to clinical trials is the provision of accurate and up-to-date patients’ information. In this case, the records support and simplify research endeavors by eliminating the need for researchers to undertake data collection. Remarkably, the information saves clinical trial endeavors the cost that empiricists would incur in collecting primary data. Moreover, the scenario enables the execution of research in situations that involve constrained budgets. Furthermore, the money that information availability saves could support the acquisition of analysis tools and software. Alternatively, the money could pay experts to execute data analysis and provide intelligible findings.
As already highlighted, electronic healthcare records offer accurate patient information. It is also worth noting that the data that derives from the automated systems is usually complete. The accuracy and completeness eliminate the need for expensive data cleaning and filtering processes. In brief, the nature of electronic records leads to considerable cost savings.
Electronic health records derive from an automated system that captures patient treatment and diagnosis information at the source. The records are electronic means that research activities would not encapsulate data entry (Mc Cord et al., 2019). A fact is that feeding manual records into computerized systems requires human resources and associated costs, which effectively save electronic health records.
Cost-saving would also emanate from the elimination or reduction of paperwork in research processes. Data capturing is the central aspect of research that involves paperwork, particularly if the empiricists elect to use non-electronic questionnaires. Electronic health records mean that experiments would go on without the need for files and manual storage of records.
Reduced duplication of research records resulting from electronic health records is also a benefit that would accrue to clinical trials. Research requires that all concerned persons access copies of records for convenience. The absence of electronic data would mean that research coordinators would have no option but to make several copies of the records (Rajkomar et al., 2018). Such an endeavor would involve considerably high costs. Notably, the duplicated copies would become irrelevant upon completing the investigations, and disposing of them would also increase the endeavor’s expenditure.
Electronic Health Records and Reduced Time to conduct Trials
Clinical trials that rely on researchers to collect information within constrained timeframes lead to wrong results and questionable findings. The situation is commonly due to human errors that lead to wrong data entry, mainly when data collection activities involve pressure and strict deadlines. On the contrary, electronic health records are an outcome of data entry procedures routinely in healthcare facilities. Notably, the persons are hardly under pressure while entering the records, hence accuracy. In this context, accuracy increases the likelihood of acquiring reliable results. Besides, data completeness improves the overall result by eliminating situations where researchers would have to work with missing data elements, hence assumptions. In like manner, investigators that base analysis on accurate records have high chances of valid claims that implementers may convert to medical procedures.
Other than saving costs, the readily available data reduces the time to undertake research and present desired results. In this regard, eliminating the demanding data collection activities means that overall research endeavors will only constitute the less demanding analysis and presentation activities (Mc Cord&Hemkens, 2019). Remarkably, a reduction in time required to complete investigations would prove worthwhile during outbreaks and pandemics, such as the current Covid-19 global ailment.
Time-saving will also apply to retrieve the required records if the researchers seek to prove some point or make observations. Remarkably, the availability of electronic health records means that the person in need of a record would access it at the click of a button. The observation is that electronic health records would potentially enhance the identification of diagnoses and treatment patterns to make broad conclusions.
The Promotion of Collaborative Clinical Trials
Clinical research is a collaborative endeavor that requires experts from various medical specialties. In many cases, clinical trials involve collaboration among experts that work in different research facilities. Therefore, the implication is that the significance of exchanging and sharing data and information cannot be underestimated. The absence of electronic data records would lead to significant challenges as participants share the data manually using transport means. As an illustration, data shared through the highlighted approach could be susceptible to lose in case of accidents or other significant incidences. In like manner, the data could be at a risk of manipulation by malicious persons, whereby the recipients would work with an altered record. The outcome of such cases would be a lack of harmony among the researchers and subsequently delayed research findings. It should also not escape the reader’s attention that data transmitted through conventional means, such as by road, could involve significant delays before the intended recipients gain access to the records, hence interference with the existing schedules.
This being the case, the observation is that traditional information transmission methodologies cannot adequately support the data exchange that involves substantial urgency. Above all, the transmission methods highlighted above would involve a significantly high cost compared to technological approaches.
Contrarily, electronic health records involve transmission simplicity in the form of technology. Here, sharing the records via a technological platform, such as the email, would represent a remedy to all the shortcomings of the non-technological means (Abul-Husn& Kenny, 2019). For instance, the reception of the message would be virtually instant. Similarly, the associated communication costs would be insignificant to include in the budget. Above all, it is possible to implement data security measures, such as encryption, to protect records’ interception on transit. Consequently, the transmitted information would consist of integrity, and the researchers located in different locations would be sure that they are working on similar data items. The resulting enhanced collaboration would guarantee quality research processes and, subsequently, essential outcomes.
The Promotion of Patients’ Privacy
Clinical health records effectively promote the protection of patient privacy during the use of records in research. Many are the times when researchers are outsiders to healthcare facilities that provide data. The situation, notwithstanding, it would be inappropriate for unauthorized persons to access patients’ data. Conventional data collection procedures involve difficulties in promoting patient data privacy since the collectors may involve files that involve information that identifies patients. In this case, the fact that data collectors would be aware of asking for details might cause some malicious persons to devise an approach to identify recipients (Jha et al., 2009). Electronic health records promote data privacy by providing filtering utilities. Therefore, the persons in charge of the data in healthcare facilities of concern would utilize the utilities to provide records that would render it impossible to identify owner patients. For instance, the persons could filter out the records’ name and residence credentials and leave only treatment details relevant to research.
Electronic Health Records’ Flexibility
Manual health records involve a lack of flexibility, with the persons conducting trials having no options but to use the data as it is. The lack of flexibility is a significant hindrance and limitation to the efficient execution of trials in that researchers may not effectively employ their knowledge to the endeavors.
However, electronic health records involve a great deal of flexibility in that it is possible to scale available records to meet the investigators’ requirements. The attribute is the essence of customization, wherein researchers work with the most the desired data formats. In this process, part of customization would be filtering some fields to work with the remaining ones (Blumenthal&Tavenner, 2010). In like manner, the persons executing the experiments could also filter some records and work with a few of them as part of the trials. Furthermore, analysts could alter entire numerical fields, say multiplication with some constant, to obtain the most appropriate values based on the preferred and available analytical methods. Above all, the persons could quickly calculate numerical attributes, such as the mean, median, and mode, and work with them in subsequent calculations.
Many research endeavors involve the use of random records from long lists of available records. Relying on humans to select records randomly could lead to bias, affecting the overall research outcomes. However, electronic health records and the accompanying systems present tools that enable researchers to generate genuinely random records devoid of any form of bias.
Electronic Health Records Interoperability
Electronic health records support a great deal of interoperability in the wake of varying research and analytic systems. Non-electronic health records involved numerous limitations regarding experimentation tools and systems that could operate on them. In this context, only some analytic tools and systems could work on the data. The outcome would be difficulties in collaboration, hence leaving trials to only one facility. Such cases would also lead to the inability to verify trial results since verification happens with comparing findings among various care facilities and researchers. The inability to process non-electronic records using some analytic tools also means that it would be necessary for research sponsors to acquire new tools to process the available data formats. In this context, an alternative would be discarding the available data and embarking on data collection endeavors all over again to obtain the data that the available systems would support. The last option would be discarding the data and stopping the research endeavors for lack of analytic tools to support the available data. It is worth noting that the last two options would involve either a demand for increased funds or a mere waste of money due to the discard of data collected.
Contrarily, it is possible to conduct experiments on electronic health records using virtually any analytical system. Consequently, collaboration would be possible regardless of the analytic tools that healthcare facilities and researchers use (Wu et al., 2020). On the same note, the clinical trial endeavors would provide fairly accurate outcomes since the researchers working on them would verify findings and harmonize the works where necessary.
The ability to Backup Electronic Health Records for continued Trials’ Support
Electronic health records involve the benefit of continued support in the context of conducting clinical trials. To explain the point, non-electronic records entail the collection of data on restricted timelines, with the researchers making records by use of paper and pen. It is worth noting that the endeavors hardly involve creating backup copies whose use would suffice in case of loss of the original copy of records. We cannot be blind to the reality that the original record’s loss might happen before the researchers generate copies of the data. In like manner, the research team might lose the records and copies before dispatching the latter to fellow researchers. Such scenarios would happen in case research centers suffer from infernos or natural disasters of substantially magnitude. The fact is that such an occurrence would leave the research team with no data to analyze. Notably, the worst bit is that only two options would be available to such research teams- undertake data collection repeatedly or stop the trials. A scholar’s and economist’s perception is that none of the options is progressive in that both would lead to a loss of time and resources.
Conversely, research efforts that rely on electronic health records from some care facilities would be assured of the availability of backup copies of the records in case of loss of the available ones. In this context, the persons executing the trials would not be afraid to try a range of operations on the data due to the assurance that they would acquire new copies of the records even if they lost part of the current data or the whole of it (Raman et al., 2018). The reader should note that comprehensive security applies to electronic health records since implementing the system commonly happens alongside determining the approach to create and store backup copies of data.
The Capability to Store Electronic Health records for Lengthy Durations
Clinical trials form the basis for the development and use of diagnoses and treatment approaches. The care practices in use today could be based on trials that happened several decades ago. However, it sometimes becomes necessary to review the practices based on current trends. Notably, many new practices are only a slight variation of those in the trial for a long time. The implication is that the successful review of clinical practice would require that researchers access the records that clinical trials relied on to arrive at the conclusions that gave rise to the prevalent practices. However, it is unfortunate that many current practices could have been conceived out of data no longer available since they may have been collected manually. In this context, the result is reviewing the current practices without accessing the records that supported its adoption.
The advent of electronic health records means that the records that inform some practice will be available for as long as researchers would require them to review some care practices. Remarkably, the records’ availability could even lead to the reaffirmation of the prevalent practices in case researchers conduct experiments and obtain results and conclusions that support the continued use of some care practice (Pikoula et al., 2019). The fact is that the need to review practices could happen from disagreements among caregivers. The availability of data to support experiments repeatedly could effectively help address dissension.
Moving forward, the introduction of new practices to healthcare will be based on facts and data at the expense of guesswork and imagination. The implication is that care practices will continually register an improvement, and the subsequent patient recovery will improve. Some people might imagine that it might be hard for healthcare organizations to store records for centuries due to limited storage space. However, the increase in the provision of storage services at a fee means that health care organizations could store information indefinitely. Alternatively, the concerned healthcare organizations could store some essential portions of records with the firms that offer the services. It would prioritize reserving records that sufficed for clinical trials to lead to some care practices.
Electronic Health Records’ Support for Clinical Trials’ Education
The perpetuation of clinical trials relies on the frequency and extent of training researchers. In this context, executing thorough research would lead to accomplished researchers to execute clinical experiments and recommend comprehensive practices. On the contrary, a lack of well-defined approaches to educating investigators may spell doom to healthcare workers. A part of comprehensive learning would be exposing learners to records that support clinical trials. The use of random data and records for teaching purposes may suffice with the learners acquiring the needed competencies to a great extent. Indeed, the learning practice has been in use for decades. However, the teaching methodology could lead to a situation in which learners fail to grasp the research process’s reality and practicability. In other words, some learners might not imagine that the prevalent clinical practices resulted from some real records that pertained to patients. The limitation, notwithstanding, the educationists have continued to use the methodology since they cannot obtain the records that investigators used in various clinical trials to give rise to some current care measures.
Therefore, the most appropriate learning approach would be exposing learners to the records that gave rise to some specific conclusions and associated care practices. The ability to store electronic healthcare records for long periods means that students that learn clinical trials in the future will enjoy the advantage of learning with the actual records that gave rise to some general practices (Pendergrass& Crawford, 2019). Remarkably, such learning activities will be fun, and the fact that learners will grasp the concepts being taught quickly. The discussion reinforces the previous argument that future review of care practices will entail relying on factual figures and data.
Electronic Health Records and Efficiency in the use of Analytical Resources
Conducting clinical trials with the use of electronic health data involves a great deal of efficiency. The situation is contrary to non-electronic records that consist of limitations, such as redundancy and inconsistencies. The limitations would lead to considerable computing resources, namely processing time and space, hence a lack of efficiency. However, electronic health records typically consist of little or no errors, and executing experiments with the data involves optimal computing resource consumption. Moreover, the visual presentation of results becomes easier when researchers use electronic records. Above all, the machine time required to execute the experiments and generate the desired results reduces a great deal when the empiricists use electronic data. The increased efficiency also involves implications on the analytic tools required to conduct the respective experiments. In this case, the use of electronic health records means that the process involves little or no complexities, hence the possibility to use simple analytic tools that do not require huge sums to acquire.
On the contrary, the use of non-electronic records would render simplistic tools difficult, with the only option being the need to use sophisticated tools due to the complexity involved in the process. The efficiency related to the use of electronic health records means that low-end healthcare facilities can engage in clinical trials to improve its operations since such endeavors would not require high-end analytic equipment and tools (Parasrampuria& Henry, 2019). On the other hand, the use of non-electronic health records would cause the execution of clinical trials to become a preserve of well-established healthcare facilities that can afford the desired equipment. Alternatively, low-end facilities would work with non-electronic data but outsource analysis and data representation to more significant healthcare facilities at a fee. All in all, electronic records are ideal because they support the noble activity in all facilities regardless of size and financial strength.
Electronic Health Records’ Support for Repeated Trials
Errors in clinical trials and the corresponding results commonly result from experiments in single attempts per session. The limited trials per session could be due to multiple reasons, one of which is data constraints. In this context, the use of non-electronic records could potentially contribute to constraints already highlighted. The implication is that the use of non-electronic health records potentially contributed to clinical trial errors and, subsequently, inaccurate results, which could lead to inappropriate practices.
The encouraging bit is that electronic health records solve the data constraints highlighted previously. Consequently, the scientists undertake multiple trials in a single session and with a single data set. Remarkably, repeated trials could lead to identifying errors that would have probably affected the initial trials (Cowie et al., 2017). In this context, identifying the errors could provide the chance to correct the results and the erroneous practice that could have resulted from the flawed process. It is also worth noting that performing several clinical trials per session could improve results by applying statistical formulas and methods to the outcome. For instance, the researcher could find the mean result of several trials to obtain the fairest value and, by extension, the most balanced practice. In like manner, the concerned empiricist could calculate other mathematical measures, such as the median, mode, and range, to assure that the result that forms the basis for clinical practice is the most comprehensive one.
In conclusion, electronic health records significantly improve clinical trials, and the latter’s role in the latter is most substantial. In this context, a comparison of the conventional records to electronic data would be necessary to gain insights into the latter’s contribution to clinical trials’ effectiveness. Some perceived benefits that accrue to clinical trials as a result of the use of electronic health records include saving the endeavors’ costs and increasing the time within which to conduct the trials. Other electronic health records contributions include improved researchers’ collaboration, promoting patients’ privacy, and health records’ flexibility. Similarly, electronic health records consist of interoperability in addition to the fact that it is possible to back up the records and offer continued access to researchers. On the same note, the storage of the records for future verification and reference is possible. Remarkably, the availability of records that supported some practice would be ideal in training the researchers to undertake clinical trials in the future. It should not escape the reader’s attention that providing an act resulting from intent would create the endeavors’ reality. Above all, the use of electronic health records in clinical trials would potentially promote repeated trials to develop the needed confidence in outcomes. The notable aspect is that the investigator could apply mathematical formulas to the data to improve the results’ reliability.
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