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enabling Clinical Research in Emergency and Acute care Medicine through automated data extraction

Project description

Checking the quality of emergency rooms

Hospital emergency departments are usually crowded and frantic. This makes research on quality-of-care in emergency medicine difficult. The large number of patients visiting the emergency room and staff shortages that often afflict these departments make ad hoc data collections unattainable. In this context, the EU-funded eCREAM project will fill the knowledge gap by reviewing and retrieving data from the electronic health records used by emergency departments. Bringing together eight countries (France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the UK) and 11 partners, eCREAM will also review and exploit other existing data sources to measure the outcome of the patients. The initiative aims to make data easy to find, interoperable and reusable for clinicians, researchers, policymakers and citizens.


To date, the possibility of doing research on quality-of-care assessment in emergency medicine has clashed against sustainability problems. The vast number of patients visiting an ED and the staff shortage that often afflicts these departments make ad hoc data collections unattainable.
The only way to fill the gap between the need for clinical research and the availability of robust data is to directly extract such data from the EDs electronic health records (EHRs), avoiding dedicated data collection. Achieving this goal would enable distributed clinical research, which is now too much restricted to academic centres, and allow to leverage of clinical information to address a multitude of research questions.
Nonetheless, obtaining consistent data from EHRs is a complex task. While a small part of the data registered in EHRs is structured (such as lab test results and vital parameters), most of the useful information on patients' conditions is variably contained in free text (e.g. presence of signs and symptoms, suspected and confirmed diagnosis, anamnesis, etc.). Moreover, as a proactive follow-up of ED patients is unfeasible, relying on the existing data sources is also necessary to measure the outcome of the patients at the most appropriate time interval for the research question of interest.
This proposal has three main aims:
1) to develop new technical solutions to extract reliable clinical information from structured and unstructured data contained in different electronic patient files;
2) to FAIRify (i.e. making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable) the established databases for clinicians, researchers, health policymakers and citizens while respecting the European and national legislations;
3) to pilot the exploitation of the established databases in two relevant use cases: i) assessment of ED propensity to hospitalise a patient, and ii) development of a dashboard to be used by citizens and policymakers to improve the quality of care in ED.



Net EU contribution
€ 2 221 937,00
Via mario negri 2
20156 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,50

Participants (8)

Partners (2)