Medical research is the engine of innovation in healthcare. Research drives new discoveries in the ways pathogens behave, how to treat patients and how to forge a path to better healthcare. By necessity, clinical research is an exacting and exhaustive process. Each step forward needs to be supported by clinical statistics and relevant data. Medical research is accompanied by robust documentation and quality assurance processes to ensure results are accurate and replicable.
Medical researchers with academic institutions and government agencies are experts in their fields, but they have to juggle multiple demands on their time and resources. HCRS offers medical research support to help the experts do what they do best.
Medical records are an essential source of information for researchers. They can be used in various ways, often under guidance by an institutional review board (IRB). Medical records contain a wealth of data on various health conditions and approaches to treatment.
With the advent of electronic health records, these documents have become even easier to search and access. Yet, medical records remain dense. Depending on the scope of the study, researchers may be tasked with sifting through thousands upon thousands of pages to find the data relevant to their efforts. Manually searching takes a significant amount of time and resources, which are assets that are limited for researchers.
Outsourcing clinical data abstraction can help reduce the amount of time searching for data, giving researchers more time to study data and make progress in their work. HCRS has a qualified team of coders, statisticians and nurses who can examine medical records and pull out the necessary data.
For example, HCRS has provided text string coding for the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) in support of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. MEPS is a set of surveys that provide insight into healthcare utilization and cost, as well as insurance coverage. The HCRS team translated narrative data into codes for use of the surveys.
Clinical research support can go beyond pulling the relevant data. Once researchers have amassed the data relevant to their work, they need to make sense of it and recognize patterns. With the growing role of big data in healthcare, the sheer amount of data and the opportunities it represents are enormous. How is the data stored and organized? How is it read?
Data analysis in medical research is another time-consuming piece of the puzzle that researchers set out to solve. Statistics for medical research are complex, and analysis is a painstaking process that often takes a multidisciplinary approach. HCRS also has team members with the expertise to read, interpret and analyze this data for research projects.
HCRS has worked on a project with Truven Analytics, supporting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analytics (CHIA). The study was designed to compare All-Payer Claims Databases (APDCs) between states. The project involved delivering a state-by-state analysis, which CHIA could use to inform the integration of Medicare data going forward.
Medical research is a carefully designed process with defined protocols to ensure the quality and ethics of the work being conducted. IRBs must approve research project design and protocol before it can begin. Naturally, protocol writing in clinical research is an essential skill.
Clinical research protocol is an action plan that determines how a study will be conducted. Typically, a chief researcher is the central figure in establishing a clinical research protocol, but medical studies usually involve a team of people. Postgraduates and researchers who are new to the field may be a part of the team. Seasoned researchers need the support of team members like this, but they may not have the bandwidth to teach them the ins and outs of creating research protocols and writing a research proposal.
Improper documentation and poorly written proposals can cause delays in the research process. Researchers want their full team up to speed as quickly as possible to avoid those potential errors. Mistakes made in the clinical protocol process can lead to issues during IRB review. HCRS provides training on research protocols to help everyone on the team be prepared to write clear, effective protocols that are ready for IRB review.
We also work with our clients to provide project management training. Medical research has many different moving parts. It is essential that members of the clinical research team are prepared to manage the different elements of a project, keeping it on-time and on-budget.
Provide Experience and Expertise
At HCRS, we understand the importance of quality assurance in clinical research. We have been providing clinical research support for decades, which means we have extensive experience working with the strict government protocols that dictate the research process. Even small errors can lead to research being disqualified. All of the hard work poured into a project can go to waste without careful adherence to research protocols.
Our team provides exhaustive quality assurance and training to help your team through every step of the research process. With the right support, you can be assured your hard work will meet the necessary requirements and make the hoped for contribution to medical research.
HCRS has built its experience in part through serving as a principal investigator. Principal investigators are the cornerstone of effective clinical research. This role is responsible for the overall management of a clinical research project, carefully monitoring the design of the project and its execution. All of the work a principal investigator does is within rigorous government, organizational and institutional standards. In this role, HCRS has been the leader guiding research from start to finish.
Our experience and expertise help to guide our clients and assure them they have the support they need to complete their research. No matter where we lend our support, we have years of experience backing our service.
HCRS Can Support Your Medical Research
Medical research is essential to our future. No matter your project, we can help. HCRS offers support through data abstraction and analysis, medical coding and auditing, and project management. We have helped support organizations like IMPAQ International, Advanta Healthcare Partners, Truven Analytics and RTI International. If you want to outsource healthcare research support, we have the expertise and the track record to work with you.
Tell us about your organization and your research project, and we can talk about how we can lend the support you need to move forward. Fill out our contact form today to get started.