Vendor partnership expands doc office role in clinical trials

Ambulatory software vendor Allscripts will enable physician practices that use its applications to connect patients with ongoing clinical trials, under a partnership between Allscripts and Elligo Health Research, which identifies available trials for individual patients’ specific conditions.

Physicians and their patients will have access to trials being managed by clinical research organizations investigating areas that include gastroenterology, neurology, pain, urology, pulmonology, oncology and women’s health, as well as others.

Doctors using one of Allscripts’ three electronic health record platforms—Professional EHR, TouchWorks or Sunrise—will be able to participate. Physicians will receive information to identify patients for potential trial opportunities through their EHR; they’ll benefit by being able to link patients to relevant trials while keeping patients in their practice. Previously, patients who have decided to participate in trials may transition to the provider that’s conducting them.

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Patients would benefit from participating in a trial that lets them remain in a practice with a physician with whom they are familiar and comfortable. Clinical trial sponsors will get trial data involving real patients.

“By bringing clinical trials directly to their patients, physicians can remain focused on the direct care of patients while offering them new therapies,” says Jay Bhattacharyya, senior vice president and general manager of payer and life sciences at Allscripts.

Practices using Allscripts software can sign up to participate in clinical trials and have access to Elligo Health’s clinical trials management system within their electronic health records system. The interface between the systems will enable physicians to run queries through their EHR system to determine if there are enough patients with a specific condition who would benefit from the opportunity to join a trial.

Elligo Health then will handle physicians’ clinical trial needs, such as administrative activities, setting up schedules, adding practice data into the clinical trials management system, and matching patients to the right trial, at no cost to physicians.

However, a practice, based on current information technology capabilities, may need to make some additional investments in their infrastructure, the companies say.

Conducting in-practice clinical trials can produce a new revenue source for physicians; participating clinical research organizations running the trials typically reimburse doctors for their time and for the care provided to patients participating in a trial, Bhattacharyya says.

If a patient is accepted into a trial, the physician no longer bills traditional insurance for the patient, because the participating CRO is the sponsor of the trial and becomes the payer. “It is a huge benefit for CROs to get trials done efficiently,” he adds.

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