Office for Technology Commercialization

Electronic Primary Care Research Network

Technology #z08118

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Identifying Patients for Clinical Trials.Transitioning from Paper to Electronic Medical RecordsConnecting Healthcare Providers with Medical ResearchersImproving Primary Care
Dr. Kevin A. Peterson, MD, MPH
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Director, Center for Excellence in Primary Care
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Managed By
Andrew Morrow
Technology Licensing Officer

Medical Research Network Connects Primary Care Physicians to Researchers

The principal goal of the electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN) is to enable the development of an electronic infrastructure to support clinical research activities in primary care practice-based medical research networks (PBRNs). ePCRN is a set of software tools that can connect practitioners within a medical organization and has the potential to connect practitioners with researchers at other academic centers. The electronic Primary Care Research Network includes research portal and clinical practice tools. The electronic network enables healthcare organizations to securely and efficiently transfer, store, and exchange information. Communication between researchers and medical practitioners improves the quality of primary care and increases the number of clinical research opportunities. This practice-based research network provides medical practitioners with decision support, clinical tools, and evidence-based guidelines in the form of reminders linked to the electronic medical records. The electronic Primary Care Research Network has the potential to include primary care physicians in the creation of new knowledge through medical research, by using their contribution of patient information and current practices.

ePCRN Development

Research and development of ePCRN has been ongoing for ten years and is now available to medical organizations to be used internally or for further development. If you are interested in licensing the ePCRN software for internal non-commercial research, please complete the authorization form.

Recruitment for Randomized Controlled Trials in Clinical Research

In the future, ePCRN could connect healthcare organizations with medical research centers to promote practice based research networks and facilitating clinical research. The researchers have access to electronic medical records and standardized clinical report forms, shifting dependence away from paper based data collection tools that are not standardized. This development allows researchers to quickly and inexpensively identify characteristics of the primary care population, removing the reliance on manual recruitment for clinical trials. Physicians enter data into a standardized clinic-based patient registry, which identifies patients eligible for randomized controlled trials. Practice based medical research networks allow researchers to conduct large collaborative trials with improved efficiency and fewer expenses.


  • Secure—healthcare organizations are able to safely transfer and exchange medical records.
  • Improves practices—clinicians benefit from the medical research and the ability to communicate with researchers from academic institutions.
  • Cost effective—the electronic network reduces costs associated with clinical recruitment for controlled trials.
  • Efficient recruitment for controlled trials —removes the reliance on manual clinical recruitment.
  • Standardized data elements—enable the electronic network to facilitate patient recruitment much faster than manual clinical recruitment.

Omicron Health Systems is first to license (non-exclusive) this technology.