Yale University Deploys Integration Between its EMR and Forte’s OnCore

Lisa Haddican
June 25th, 2013

Forte Research Systems and the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation have announced that Yale has deployed new interfaces between the OnCore® Enterprise Research solution and the university’s electronic medical record (EMR), Epic. The groundbreaking integration facilitates communication of clinical trial data from OnCore to the EMR to help streamline processes for research staff, and strengthen patient safety and billing compliance.

(Forte discussed the need for this type of integration in a previous article titled, “CTMS and EMR Software: Why Integration is Necessary.“)

The industry standards-based interfaces went live at Yale on February 1 and include:

1) Interface for Protocol and Subject Information: OnCore sends protocol and subject information to the EMR.1 The subject status is communicated from OnCore to the EMR so a patient can be flagged within the EMR to indicate they are a research participant.

2) Protocol Billing Grid Interface: Procedure billing designations are indicated at the protocol level within OnCore, which then provides this information to the EMR for use in determining how to route charges.2

Download the OnCore Integrations Overview

Collaborative Effort

The collaborative effort between Yale, Forte Research Systems and Epic, using new standards for interfacing systems, marks an important milestone in the industry and makes it possible for other organizations to take advantage of similar integrations.

“The integration project is integral to enhancing our clinical research operations,” said Tesheia Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. “We see it as an opportunity to eliminate duplicate data entry, strengthen research billing compliance, and streamline communication throughout our institution.”

It is also a milestone achievement in Forte’s mission to improve clinical research operations through integrated technology. “This is another major step forward in breaking down silos between systems and providing greater efficiencies for research operations,” said Srini Kalluri, Founder, President, and Chief Customer Officer at Forte Research Systems.

Tony O’Hare, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer at Forte, points to the company’s commitment to collaboration as a major contributor to the project’s success. “Forte is committed to collaborating with customers to guide the development of the OnCore system,” he said. “Our community voiced a need for integration between OnCore and EMR systems. We listened to this need and brought the stakeholders to the table to make the integration a reality.”


1OnCore currently interfaces with Epic EMR via the industry standard Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Retrieve Process for Execution (RPE) profile. OnCore can interface with other electronic medical records systems when those systems use the RPE standard.

2The interface uses the IHE Clinical Research Process Content (CRPC) profile, a supplement to the RPE profile, providing study definition content using the HL7 Study Design Structured Document.


2 thoughts on “Yale University Deploys Integration Between its EMR and Forte’s OnCore

  1. Hello

    The University of Utah currently integrates our Clinical Trials Management System CTMS) with EPIC. However, our interface is not automatic; instead, we have to manually upload to Epic via flat file. From what we understand, the interface between OnCore, at Yale, and Epic, is that the protocol billing grid (PBG) is manually entered into Epic (Epic cannot accept the detailed level of information needed to send via web-interface). Is that correct?

    As Epic tries to standardize their specifications, we would be happy to confine to their needs, as long as we do not lose any functionality in our integration process which: flags send the procedures on the PBG, sends/updates participant’s status, flags charge’s billing route—SOC w/modifiers or w/out or STUDY–, routes charges to department work queues, and releases to pt/insurance or back to CTMS for electronic payment.

    Thank you

  2. Johanna,

    Thank you for your question and comments. Things have changed a bit since The Huntsman Cancer Center at the University of Utah implemented OnCore. The interface between OnCore and Epic implemented at Yale does, in fact, allow Protocol Billing Grids (PBGs) to be sent electronically from OnCore to Epic. The interface set up includes establishing the appropriate level of detail for each protocol procedure as well as other important aspects such as billing designations like SOC and Q0/Q1 modifiers to be sent to Epic from OnCore. Not just the initial PBG but, as you noted, subsequent updates when there are new versions of the PBG are created in OnCore.

    There is still work to be done in developing and implementing the necessary EHR and CTMS interface standards to help eliminate the duplicate data entry and manual work that exists today. We at Forte are very excited to be able to participate in this process.

    Let us know if you’d like to know more about the OnCore interface with Epic.

    Tony O’Hare

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