News, NHS trust

UCLH pilot study highlights Archer system supports “quick and accurate” transfer of data from EHR to research software

A pilot study from University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust has found that transfer of data from electronic health records to research-specific software was completed “more quickly and accurately” when using IgniteData’s Archer system, as compared to the manual process of transferring information.

Utilising Archer’s EHR-to-EDC technology (electronic health records to electronic data capture), the study compared the system’s performance in transferring data such as vital signs and lab results to a research database to the manual process, which ran in parallel during a live cancer study. The trust highlights how Archer was able to map and transfer 100 percent of this data to the research system, and although “data entry errors were identified in the main study, the data selected from the EHR using Archer was always an exact match of the data in the EHR.”

UCLH notes that the elimination of data entry errors means that “Archer would significantly reduce the need for checking of data”, with the trust’s managing director Dr Nick McNally commenting that the study gives hope for “laborious manual data transcription methods” to “realistically become a thing of the past”.

The trust’s director of research Professor Bryan Williams added: “The results published today are encouraging for the future of research using data. They streamline the delivery of research, and importantly, the way this technology works means that hospitals can maintain control over the data.”

Future studies will now be held to expand the use of Archer at the trust and beyond.

We’ve covered a range of information from UCLH in recent months – in March, we highlighted their pilot of an app designed to reduce health inequalities by connecting people with personalised health information, and in May we heard about the digital maternity app in use at the trust which aims to improve access and engagement among vulnerable pregnant women.

Looking at strategies, in April we examined the role of transformation and innovation in the trust’s five-year strategy, which places emphasis on the development of new models of outpatient care with technology to be used to support capacity decisions and the digitisation of administration processes. February saw an exploration of the role of digital in the trust’s net zero strategy, with focus on how they will be lowering paper consumption by switching to digital alternatives and utilising technology to support sustainable change.

Last summer we interviewed UCLH’s director of innovation Luke O’Shea; Luke discussed digital projects throughout the trust including swallowable cameras and use of AI to achieve lower carbon rates, in addition to his learnings as a digital leader.

On the topic of research data, earlier this year we shared how the National Data Guardian published guidance designed to support organisations in carrying out public benefit evaluations when planning to use data in projects, and we also covered the news of 16 data-driven research projects designed to support healthcare in handling winter pressures.