Computerized recruiting for clinical trials in real time

Ann Emerg Med. 2003 Feb;41(2):242-6. doi: 10.1067/mem.2003.52.


Study objective: Success of prospective studies, particularly in the emergency department, often depends on immediate identification of eligible patients to ensure timely sample collection and initiation of study interventions. We report use of a real-time automated notification system to identify potential patients for a clinical trial at the time of ED registration on the basis of information routinely collected. We hypothesize that the automated notification system improves the rate of investigator notification.

Methods: We performed a prospective comparison of the notification rate by the automated notification system compared with that by ED clinicians.

Results: In the 11 months before use of the automated notification system, the investigator was notified by ED staff for 56% of 61 potentially eligible patients. During 10 months of using the automated notification system, the investigator was paged by the automated notification system for 84% of 49 potentially eligible patients.

Conclusion: The automated notification system improves study investigator notification. Use requires online linked registration, a database, and paging systems. The automated notification system is a potentially valuable tool in the recruitment of patients for clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Computer Systems*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pilot Projects