Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Moonshot: Turning the BMT EMR into a Research Record

The critical challenge is to develop a standards-based BMT electronic medical record (EMR) and integrate research capacity into the architecture of EMR systems. The ultimate goal would be to build de-identified complete data-sets which can be used to support observational studies and clinical trials, improve transplant outcomes and inform public policy.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Clinical research is constrained by a clumsy method of acquiring biomedical data, generally relying on manual capture of information from EMR back-to-paper which is then transcribed into registry or specific clinical trial databases. This method is labor intensive, fraught with opportunities for error, and increasingly difficult to defend in light of the high costs associated with clinical trials. Adoption of standards-based clinical documentation and creating access to source clinical data would reduce or do-away with resource-intensive, very expensive and time-consuming data abstraction, enhance data quality and depth, and accelerate translational research.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

As BMT centers increasingly adopt EMR systems in the United States, a vast and potentially very useful data resource is being created. However, most EMR systems offer very generic formats for clinical documentation and the medical information is inconsistently expressed in vocabulary, structure, and format. One challenge is the development of common standards-based clinical documentation format and its adoption by EMR system vendors and BMT institutions to support structured data sharing.


Large transplant centers can build their own integration engines to link EMR with stem cell lab, HLA, donor care, workflow etc. However, a broad implementation of integration IT solutions would be needed amongst centers conducting BMT clinical trials.


While CIBMTR's FormsNet application and Clinical Trials Network allow electronic data submission, data professionals still need to manually enter the data. Another challenge in creating a centralized data resource would be to build interoperability between transplant centers and research entities. An alternative to a large centralized database could be a distributed research network which allows data holders to maintain logical and physical control over their data and mitigate security, proprietary, legal, and privacy concerns.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Rakesh Goyal


57 net votes
71 up votes
14 down votes
Idea No. 702