Embedding research recruitment in a community resource e-prescribing system: lessons from an implementation study on Chicago's South Side

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2019 Aug 1;26(8-9):840-846. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocz059.


Objective: The study sought to implement and assess the CommunityRx e-prescribing system to recruit research participants from a predominantly non-Hispanic Black community on Chicago's South Side.

Materials and methods: CommunityRx integrates with electronic medical record systems to generate a personalized list of health-promoting community resources (HealtheRx). Between December 2015 and December 2016, HealtheRxs distributed at outpatient visits to adults with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also incentivized participation in a pulmonary research registry. Usual practices for registry recruitment continued in parallel.

Results: Focus groups established acceptability and appropriateness among the target population. Pulmonary research registry recruitment information was included on 13 437 HealtheRxs. Forty-one (90% non-Hispanic Black) patients responded with willingness to participate and 9 (8 non-Hispanic Black) returned a signed consent required to enroll. Usual recruitment practices enrolled 4 registrants (1 non-Hispanic Black).

Discussion: Automating research recruitment using a community e-prescribing system is feasible.

Conclusions: Implementation of an electronic medical record-integrated, community resource referral tool promotes enrollment of eligible underrepresented research participants; however, enrollment was low.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02653066.

Keywords: electronic health records; health disparities; health information technology; minority health; patient recruitment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Black or African American
  • Chicago
  • Consumer Health Informatics
  • Electronic Prescribing*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02653066