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Effectiveness and cost of recruiting healthy volunteers for clinical research studies using an electronic patient portal: A randomized study

  • Mary H. Samuels (a1), Robert Schuff (a1), Peter Beninato (a2), Adriel Gorsuch (a3), James Dursch (a4), Sarah Egan (a1), Bridget Adams (a1), Kate F. Hollis (a5), Rachel Navarro (a2) and Timothy E. Burdick (a5) (a6)...

Abstract

Introduction

It is not clear how to effectively recruit healthy research volunteers.

Methods

We developed an electronic health record (EHR)-based algorithm to identify healthy subjects, who were randomly assigned to receive an invitation to join a research registry via the EHR’s patient portal, letters, or phone calls. A follow-up survey assessed contact preferences.

Results

The EHR algorithm accurately identified 858 healthy subjects. Recruitment rates were low, but occurred more quickly via the EHR patient portal than letters or phone calls (2.7 vs. 19.3 or 10.4 d). Effort and costs per enrolled subject were lower for the EHR patient portal (3.0 vs. 17.3 or 13.6 h, $113 vs. $559 or $435). Most healthy subjects indicated a preference for contact via electronic methods.

Conclusions

Healthy subjects can be accurately identified from EHR data, and it is faster and more cost-effective to recruit healthy research volunteers using an EHR patient portal.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. H. Samuels, Oregon Health & Science University, 3121 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA. (Email: samuelsm@ohsu.edu)

References

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