What is CRIS and what is it used for?

Every person that comes into contact with AWP will have an electronic medical record which stores all their information. This is how all healthcare services securely store medical records and our records are available only on AWP computers and allows clinicians to make informed decisions about the healthcare they provide.

Whilst this information is held for individual's care needs, the amount of personal records combined could provide a wealth of knowledge and understanding about the causes of illnesses and how to effectively treat them. This is because the personal records allow researchers to look at a huge number of real life situations and see trends in the causes of illness and what works well when treating them.

The Clinical Record Interactive system (CRIS) is a computer system developed to allow researchers to conduct research using the large amount of information from the electronic medical records. The system has been adapted for AWP and can be used to look for information in AWP's clinical records. CRIS is safe and secure, all service user information is depersonalised and researchers will not have access to any personal information or personal details. Researchers are never able to access personal information without the permission of the individual.

This system makes research faster, information can be gathered more quickly and efficiently and it allows research to be completed in a depersonalised manner, as opposed to previous methods of needing access to paper notes. For some research, researchers will need to meet patients face to face and this system allows researchers to search depersonalised medical records for people who may be more accurately suitable for the research.   

As stated above, CRIS will help researchers examine real life situations, using large amounts of information. This will allow patterns and trends within the trust to be identified e.g. which treatments help the most in psychosis, or how often patients experience side effects such as nausea from a particular medicine, or how effective different kinds of psychological therapy are for different conditions. It also allows links to be made between treatments and care within the trust with other aspects of health, to improve physical and mental health as a whole. For example, CRIS could be used to look at patients who have had both mental health problems and cancer to see how mental health impacts cancer survival rates.

For more information please contact Lara Skinner lara.skinner@nhs.net

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