Charting New Territory: Six Tips for Maximizing Patient Chart Research

In a recent survey, we asked members of our Healthcare Panel about their experiences with Patient Chart Research. This methodology is useful for researchers as it is based on real-life cases, not hypothetical scenarios. Using anonymized data, these studies can be either online or by telephone, with the majority being online.

One important reason Reckner’s Panelists like to do Patient Chart Research is because they want their opinions to be counted. They also want to contribute to innovation in their field and learn about new treatments in the pipeline. Some say it is “fun” and others like “looking through records,” “improving patient outcomes,” and “feeling like I can make a difference.”

Patient Chart Research can be rewarding for those who prepare ahead and set aside uninterrupted time.

So the next time you accept a Patient Chart study, remember these useful tips from members of Reckner’s Healthcare Panel.

  • It is helpful to prepare ahead of time by reviewing the questionnaire and pulling and reviewing appropriate charts before starting the survey.
  • Many Panelists (40%) prefer to toggle back and forth on one device; 31% prefer to use two devices like a desktop and a tablet; and 14% prefer to print out the charts.
  • In any case, it is critical to be able to access the charts while doing the study.
  • Allow enough time to do the study in one sitting; avoid interruptions.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the patient and adhere to HIPAA.
  • Accuracy is critical. As one Panelist said, “Try your best to be accurate in the information you provide since that is very helpful in the advancement of therapy and management of our patients.”  Another concurred, “Be patient, always be honest…if technology is failing you—don’t guess, just end session. The only information that can help is accurate information.”

While Patient Chart Research can be required by a variety of fields, there is particular need in the areas of oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, dermatology, and plastic surgery.

The next time you are invited to participate in this kind of research, give it a try and keep these helpful tips in mind.