When patients find themselves interacting with information about their health and well-being, it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to ensure that these interactions are as meaningful and productive as they can be. In this regard, the informed consent process is among the most important facets of clinical research currently undergoing a digital transformation, and pharmaceutical companies must continue to adopt eConsent across the board.
eConsent – a platform for consenting patients using a computer based consent form rather than a paper document – is not a novel concept; it falls within the broader spectrum of how the healthcare industry has digitized information in the past. Take, for example, the way that hospitals have shifted from exclusively using paper medical records to now widely incorporating digital methods. Electronic medical records (EMRs) were introduced as a way to streamline processes in providing care for patients, and to simplify medical billing, with healthcare professionals as their designated end users.
Eventually, healthcare professionals realized the value of this technology from a patient perspective, introducing electronic health records (EHRs) as resource that patients themselves could access to better manage their health. The shift from paper medical records to patient-facing electronic health records illustrates what the clinical research industry must achieve with eConsent, ensuring that patients are ultimately the end users.
Anyone who has spent time with a traditional informed consent form knows that it can be a tedious and rigid experience. Not only can eConsent improve compliance and increase the efficiency of the informed consent process for clinical research professionals, but it stands to enhance a patient’s understanding of clinical study participation, providing context to complicated information in a way that a traditional text document never could.
At BBK Worldwide, we create recruitment and engagement programs that respond directly to patient’s needs – attention, advice, and caring from respected healthcare professionals – and we deploy the latest technological advances in our industry to help make this possible. In this way, eConsent presents a valuable opportunity for those of us in the clinical research industry to make use of available technologies to enhance the most personal aspects of clinical research.
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