2019 Annual Report: Partnering to Build a Research Network

The DCRI is partnering with Cerner, the world’s largest electronic health record (EHR) company, to conduct clinical research using Cerner’s cloud-based platform.

The platform, called HealtheIntent, was originally developed for use in population health management. When DCRI researchers Ann Marie Navar, MD, PhD, (pictured left) and Eric Peterson, MD, MPH, (pictured right) learned about the platform, they saw an opportunity for clinical research. Although maintained by Cerner, the platform can incorporate data from a variety of EHR vendors and has the ability to link to other data sources such as health care claims and mortality indices. Together with Cerner, the DCRI is now among the first to pilot this platform for clinical research.

The DCRI has a strong history in leveraging real-world data from the EHR to power future research. To further the collaboration with Cerner, Navar and Peterson identified academic collaborators at both the University of Texas Dell Medical School and the University of Missouri to pilot the use of HealtheIntent to run an EHR-powered clinical registry. Funded by Janssen, the pilot project will explore treatment patterns for patients with cardiovascular disease while helping to identify the benefits and limitations of Cerner’s platform for clinical research. Evaluating and maximizing data quality is also of paramount importance; as part of the project, large numbers of chart reviews are being performed to verify the accuracy of the EHR-generated data and refine how key clinical conditions are defined.

The DCRI and Cerner hope to expand this partnership by recruiting other health systems to join their network of sites dedicated to using the EHR to power research in what they are calling the Learning Health Network. Through expansion of the network, Navar and Peterson hope to create a network that can be leveraged for other research purposes, from larger observational registries to pragmatic clinical trials, as well as studies on how to best drive the adoption of evidence into clinical practice.


This article originally appeared in the DCRI’s 2018-2019 Annual Report. View more articles from this publication.