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Cancer Clinical Research Information System

The Informatics team works with physicians and researchers from multidisciplinary groups to explore ways the Cancer Clinical Research information system can be customizedto best meet each group’s needs.

Few hospitals and research institutions have a common repository for clinical and research information. Health care teams track patient history and treatment data while scientists maintain their own sets of files. This means collecting, maintaining, accessing, and sharing records can be complicated, and work might be duplicated in various departments or groups.

To streamline cancer-specific data, HCI’s Informatics Department developed the Cancer


Clinical Research (CCR) information system. Launched July 1, 2006, the CCR links HCI’s clinical and research data from various groups. It also integrates information from other systems that contain medical records for patients in the University of Utah system. The CCR provides a central location for information, saving data entry time, eliminating redundant work, and providing access to data quickly and easily, even across departments. Each multidisciplinary group that focuses on a specific cancer at HCI can work with the Informatics Department to customize aspects of the CCR so it captures and displays information in a way that best meets their needs. The system tracks information, makes it available in real time, and protects it with robust security and access rights, so patients are assured absolute confidentiality and anonymity when appropriate.

“Other institutions hire information technology companies at tremendous cost over long periods of time to develop systems like this. At HCI, we built this cutting-edge software in-house, thanks to the spirit of teamwork and collegiality between clinicians, researchers, basic scientists, and software engineers,” says Samir Courdy, director of HCI’s Informatics Department.

The CCR is already integrated with several systems, including HCI’s bio sample tracking system. The goal is to link with more in the future, including pharmacy records, molecular databases such as microarray, and imaging.

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Informatics team worked together to create a cutting-edge system integrating cancer clinical and research information.


“As the CCR grows, it will help researchers and clinicians share information more efficiently,” says Courdy, “hopefully leading to drug discoveries, better patient therapies, and identification of disease-causing genes.”

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