There are increasing expectations that community-based physicians who care for people with HIV infection will offer their patients opportunities to enroll in clinical trials. The information-management requirements of clinical investigation, however, make it unrealistic for most providers who do not practice in academic centers to participate in clinical research. Our T-HELPER computer system offers community-based physicians the possibility of enrolling patients in clinical trials as a component of primary care. T-HELPER facilitates data management for patients with HIV disease, and can offer patient-specific and situation-specific advice concerning new protocols for which patients may be eligible and the treatment required by those protocols in which patients currently are enrolled. We are installing T-HELPER at three county-operated AIDS clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area, and plan a comprehensive evaluation of the system and its influence on clinical research.
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