Applicability of Different Electronic Record Types for Use in Patient Recruitment Support Systems : Comparative Analysis


Clinical trials constitute an important pillar in medical research. It is beneficial to support recruitment for clinical trials using software tools, so-called patient recruitment support systems; however, such information technology systems have not been frequently used to date. Because medical information systems' underlying data collection methods strongly influence the benefits of implementing patient recruitment support systems, we investigated patient recruitment support system requirements and corresponding electronic record types such as electronic medical record, electronic health record, electronic medical case record, personal health record, and personal cross-enterprise health record.


The aim of this study was to (1) define requirements for successful patient recruitment support system deployment and (2) differentiate and compare patient recruitment support system-relevant properties of different electronic record types.


Patient recruitment support system requirements (n=16) were grouped into 4 categories (consent management, patient recruitment management, trial management, and general requirements). All 16 requirements could be partially met by at least 1 type of electronic record. Only 1 requirement was fully met by all 5 types. According to our analysis, personal cross-enterprise health records fulfill most requirements for patient recruitment support systems. They demonstrate advantages especially in 2 domains (1) supporting patient empowerment and (2) granting access to the complete medical history of patients.


In combination with patient recruitment support systems, personal cross-enterprise health records prove superior to other electronic record types, and therefore, this integration approach should be further investigated.


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