OHSU Is Part of National Effort to Improve Patient Access to Clinical Trials

12/17/09  Portland, Ore.

Taking part in clinical trials offers patients and volunteers unique access to the latest research advancements. However, too often, volunteers don't know where to start when it comes to locating and applying for research studies. This month, Oregon Health & Science University is joining a national effort to streamline the process and more easily connect volunteers and researchers.

The online effort is called ResearchMatch.org. ResearchMatch.org is a not-for-profit, free Web site that brings together researchers and people who are willing to learn more about research studies in a secure and convenient manner. OHSU is one of the 52 institutions across the country participating in this volunteer recruitment registry.  Unlike ClinicalTrials.gov, a searchable database of national and international clinical trials, ResearchMatch.org allows volunteers to be contacted when a research opportunity arises.

In order to take part in ResearchMatch.org, volunteers need to register at the Web site, where they answer several questions about their current health and volunteer interests. The Web site's security features ensure that personal information is protected until volunteers authorize the release of their contact information for a specific study. Volunteers are notified electronically when a possible match is identified. Volunteers then make decisions regarding the release of their contact information to the researchers.

ResearchMatch.org is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health.  The CTSA Consortium is a national network of 46 medical research institutions working together to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. Only researchers affiliated with participating CTSA institutions can use ResearchMatch.org to recruitment volunteers.

One member of the CTSA consortium is the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) at OHSU.  Established in September 2006, OCTRI is a unique partnership between Oregon Health & Science University and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research -- bringing together an academic medical center and an innovative managed care organization. OCTRI's mission is to improve human health by enhancing clinical and translational research. OCTRI works with institutional partners, community organizations, and industry to engage communities in clinical research efforts and to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients.

To learn more about Research Match.org, visit http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/clinical-trials/researchmatch.cfm or contact Darlene Kitterman, Director of Investigator Support & Integration Services in OCTRI at kitterma@ohsu.edu.