Contacting Patients for Research Recruitment

There are two ways at Stanford Medicine to contact patients for eligibility consideration in your study that complies with the Notice of HIPAA Privacy Practice in force at both SHC and SCH as of mid 2017.

1 Office of Research Recruitment

Looking for eligible patients to contact? We can search both hospital EMRs looking for patients who match your initial eligibility criteria. Contact us today!

Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical & Translational Research & Education, is preparing to implement a privacy-protected service for contacting potential research participants. It will enable postal or email communications to participants without the investigative team having direct access to their contact information. This will ensure a high level of patient privacy and will facilitate research recruitment. 

A late 2018 implementation is anticipated, managed by the Recruitment Enhancement Core (REC) within Spectrum. Please stay tuned for an announcement when we “go live”.

2 Physician Contact

Pro tip: Once you have a list of patients who may be eligible for your study, don't forget to review their charts in a suitable research-compliant chart review tool such as  this chart review tool. Epic is not approved for research use and is not a suitable tool for this activity.

Your other option is to have a suitable physician send a letter on your behalf. This is a tried and true method that is well accepted by patients as not being invasive of their privacy, and is always an excellent choice. In this case you also search the EMR for eligible patients and review their charts online to verify basic eligibility. After finalizing your list, rather than sending the resulting list of patient names to the Spectrum Office of Research Recruitment, the informatics team will supply the list of patient names and their corresponding physicians to you. You are then responsible for working with each physician to obtain their approval of the list of names proposed for contact, and their signature on the letter.

If you have any questions on any of these approaches, you can ask any of the following compliance experts: