University of Miami Health System Patients Gain New Access to Clinical Studies

Patients at the University of Miami Health System are now being asked a new question when they check in for their appointment, one that will open a new opportunity to take advantage of the many innovative therapies and treatments available through the health system. In addition to the regular questions about updated address and insurance information, patients will be asked if they would like to be contacted in the future about clinical studies for which they may qualify.

The launch of the Consent-to-Contact Initiative provides a major step for UHealth to expand the way its pioneering research impacts the lives of patients.

“The Consent-To-Contact Initiative is one of the ways we can leverage our strength in cutting-edge research by offering clinical studies to people who have historically been under-represented,” said Thinh H. Tran, M.D., M.B.A, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Officer of UHealth. “Empowering our patients with information allows them to decide if participating is the correct choice for them. At the same time, increasing diversity in clinical research means UM will be better able to address health disparities.”

Patients will have the option to consent to be contacted, decline, or delay consenting and obtain more information. A support hotline, 305-243-8888, and email address, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), are available to answer questions. A patient may also change their consent-to-contact status at any time.

The process takes place during the check-in process at all outpatient UHealth locations across South Florida, including Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, clinical outpatient offices at University of Miami Hospital, and all satellite locations. It will not be asked of patients being admitted to University of Miami Hospital.

In the future, patients who give their consent could be contacted by a University of Miami investigator regarding studies that may be appropriate for them.

This initiative is the result of several years of careful consideration of how to better engage UHealth’s unique patient population, while at the same time accelerating research through expediting recruitment.

The UHealth Consent-To-Contact Initiative was a collaborative effort among several University of Miami stakeholders, including the Office of HIPAA Privacy & Security, UHealth Clinical Practice, Health Systems Access, Information Technology, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Office of Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine, and the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute. It has been supported and approved by the institution’s general counsel and senior leaders of both UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine.

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