Technology and Health Informatics

To access further information and guidance about the additional services that Keele CTU offers to develop and support a research project, click on the tabs below. 

Keele CTU has a strong track record in developing reliable and innovative approaches to research data collection. The centrally housed and/or web-based solution(s) offered by our dedicated team of software developers include:

  • Database development, implementation and management
  • Trial management software
  • Data entry software
  • Two way mobile text messaging (SMS) surveys
  • Randomisation software
  • Electronic Data Capture Systems (Teleform)
  • Online Data Capture Systems (Keele Health Survey)
  • IT Support

Keele CTU can provide a secure and robust web-based randomisation system for your study (which is accessible at all times) or a centrally housed telephone randomisation service (available during normal office hours). If required, the service can include a code-breaking module.

Health Informatics (HI) describes the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of healthcare information to foster better collaboration across patients’ different healthcare providers. It also plays a critical role in the push towards healthcare reform. The use of HI to facilitate research improves not only participant recruitment to research studies, but also aids the collection of research data.

As one of the country’s leading CTUs for the delivery of primary care research, specialising in Primary Care IT infrastructure, the CTU HI team have strong expertise in integrating research within primary care clinical IT systems to allow the facilitation of research using patient medical record data. We are able to assist researchers, providing advice, guidance and a design service around embedding and performing research within a Primary Care IT setting to integrate research into face to face primary care patient interactions.

Recruitment and retention of participants into research undertaken in primary care is challenging. Experience gained from research supported by Keele Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), shows that targeted HI support early in the design phase of clinical studies may enhance the conduct of research and improve recruitment and retention rates.

HI tools are tailored on a bespoke basis to the requirements of individual clinical research teams to perform feasibility, identification, eligibility, screening, recruitment, tagging and data collection functions and are provided together with instructions for use.

Our aim is to embed research efficiently, accurately and as unobtrusively as possible for the clinician end user. The HI team are able to provide advice, guidance, design and development in the integration of the following, within primary care IT systems:

  • Searches - feasibility, eligibility and recruitment searches to identify eligible patients for research studies.
  • Electronic protocols - automated processes which, through a series of decisions and actions, aid patient screening, data entry, information display and auto populated documents.
  • Data collection templates - electronic tables or document templates to facilitate accurate and consistent data entry.
  • Automated clinical coding - ability to record research activity using existing and bespoke study specific Read codes/SNOMED clinical terms.
  • Electronic tools - embedded stratification and screening tools to aid referrals and clinical assessments.

For further information please contact:

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