Development of an electronic research permissions management system to enhance informed consents and capture research authorizations data

AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc. 2013 Mar 18;2013:189-93. eCollection 2013.


Informed consents are a critical and essential component of the clinical research process. Currently, most consents and research privacy authorizations are being captured on paper. In this paper we describe a novel method of capturing this information electronically. The objective is to allow easier tracking of research participants' intent for current and future research involvement, enhance consent comprehension and facilitate the research workflow. After multidisciplinary analysis in key hospital registration areas and research participant enrollment, an open source software product was designed to capture this data through a user-friendly touch screen interface. The data may then be fed into a clinical data warehouse for use in cohort discovery or consent tracking. Despite ethical, legal and informatics challenges in clinical and research environments, we propose that this technology opens new avenues for significantly enhancing the consent process and positively impacting recruitment.