NIH Clinical Research Information System
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CRIS Project Overview


The project: A Clinical Research Information System for NIH

Clinical research translates laboratory discoveries into new and better treatments and therapies that improve the nation’s health. Clinical research within the NIH intramural community is headquartered at the NIH Clinical Center. The crucial mandate: provide the best possible care for patient volunteers while advancing the quest for new medical knowledge.

The NIH Clinical Research Information System—CRIS—will support this important work by supplying the innovative tools clinicians, researchers and managers need to efficiently and responsively manage both patient care and research information systems.

A complex network of information systems already supports clinical care and research data collection within the NIH intramural clinical research programs carried out at the Clinical Center. Some of these systems are old and need to be replaced; others require overhaul to meet evolving needs and demands. Unstable and inefficient interfaces hinder data sharing. New information systems must be added to assure highest quality patient care and clinical research support in today’s world. The comprehensive CRIS project will address these needs.

CRIS is one of three NIH-wide information system projects are now underway. The others are the Electronic Research Administration (eRA) project, and the Business and Research Support System (NBRSS).

What makes up CRIS?
Once complete, all CRIS functions will be tightly integrated and revolve around two cores—the Clinical Data Repository, hub of all patient- and operational-related interactions, and the Clinical Data Warehouse, home to historical data that can be accessed and analyzed in groups.

Look to the Clinical Data Repository for information such as patient demographics, lab results, pharmacy orders, the hospital services formulary, information from referring physicians, physician notes, links to patient images in the radiology imaging system, and multidisciplinary documentation of care.

The Clinical Data Warehouse will centralize historical patient data and be organized for retrieval and analysis of data in groups in ways that assure patient privacy and confidentiality. Warehouse ancillary systems will focus on tracking information in support of safety and organizational efficiency initiatives.

Key CRIS benefits:

  • In clinical research:
    •Collect data once for both research and clinical care—based on the protocol
    •Provide access to information for research
    •Automate patient-safety monitoring
  • In patient care:
    •Provide a single, continuous record of care at NIH
    •Enable access to information about patient care for referring physicians
    •Incorporate rules, alerts, and references pertinent to patient care
    •Protect patient privacy and confidentiality through comprehensive security
    •Provide protocol-based ordering
  • In efficient management:
    •Adopt industry standards to allow for system interoperability
    •Provide a flexible system than can adapt.

This page last updated 11/29/06


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