Access to the rich resource that is routinely collected patient data helps researchers in find new ways of preventing, identifying and treating illness. Every time patients have a hospital stay or appointment, healthcare staff keep a record of the visit, including information about patients’ health in an Electronic Health Record (EHR). This can be accessed by healthcare staff across the hospital and also used for research purposes.
Clinical Research Analytics Governance Group (CRAG)
Regulatory approvals are necessary for using routinely collected patient data in research without patient consent. At Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Clinical Research Analytics Governance Group (CRAG) has been established to safeguard best practice in data research across Guy’s and St Thomas’. Its role is to review all projects that wish to use routinely collected electronic patient data for research and analysis. The CRAG’s new and easy application system will channel applications either via GERRI or guide project leads to the appropriate regulatory and internal approval process. All projects wishing to use patient data for research or analysis at Guy’s and St Thomas’ must apply via the CRAG.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Electronic Records Research Interface (GERRI)
We have also recently received an overarching approval from the Health Research Authority to use EHR data for research through the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Electronic Records Research Interface (GERRI).
GERRI is an overarching approval that Guy’s and St Thomas’ has received from the Health Research Authority to utilise routinely collected patient data for research purposes. GERRI is available to:
- Those who have an honorary or substantive contract with Guy’s and St Thomas’
- Those who only plan to use pseudonymised or anonymised routinely collected digital health data for Guy’s and St Thomas’ patients
- Studies where analysis and investigations will take place with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ firewalls only
- Studies with meaningful input from patients and public involvement
- Studies with a Clinical Lead
- Studies that agree to keep a Data Access Log.
Patients can opt-out of having their data used for research via the Trust website at www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/about-us/your-health-records/managing-your-data#national-data-opt-out