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From MIS to CRIS
Hospital's Computer Information System Debuts on July 31

CRIS, the NIH Clinical Research Information System, goes live on July 31. The long-anticipated implementation covers the patient-care aspects of CRIS, functions now handled by the Clinical Center's 28-year-old MIS (Medical Information System).

"With CRIS, you'll be able to enter orders and documentation and retrieve in a new way that will be a dramatic improvement over MIS," said Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld, CC chief information officer and associate director for clinical research informatics.

"MIS essentially will be shut down at midnight on Friday, July 30. After several hours of switch-over work, CRIS will be turned on. Much of the historic information in MIS can be transferred to CRIS electronically," Rosenfeld said. "But some of the operational information — including the several thousand inpatient orders — will have to be transferred manually."

About 3,000 NIH'ers will receive training on CRIS, the Clinical Research Information System, before the system debuts on July 31. Rubi Defensor (standing) is one of the CRIS instructors. With her are (from l) Janet Rowan, pain clinic (Outpatient Clinic 3); Fu-Meei Robbins, department of transfusion medicine; Bart Drinkard, department of rehabilitation medicine; and Sabas Carino and Arlene Hagan, department of laboratory medicine.

While CRIS will be an improvement over MIS, the change will likely generate some anxiety. "Activation will be a very busy time for the organization," Rosenfeld noted. "While this is a new computer system, our processes of care are not changing in any fundamental way. CRIS is not going to enforce any new standards of practice that will significantly change the way we do things."

Prior to the debut, staff need to complete training, which is available through July 27. Employees will not be able to get a CRIS access code until they complete training. The CRIS Support Center will offer help after the debut. "We're planning to offer on-site help round the clock during August," Rosenfeld said.

Fifty training stations are available in three classrooms within the department of clinical research informatics (Bldg. 10, Rm. 1C290), which is CRIS training headquarters. Classes will be offered from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; some weekend classes will be available. Your job determines the classes you must take. Training for prescribers is consolidated within one class. All prescribers (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse anesthetists, dentists) should view the online tutorial, Introduction to CRIS, before attending class. The tutorial is part of training for all other CRIS classes and is a great option to help prepare for class or to review what you've learned.

Anyone who hasn't yet scheduled training should call the CRIS training hotline to confirm training requirements and register for classes: (301) 435-5077.

Members of the affiliate medical staff (except nurses) must complete and have a supervisor sign a form before attending training so that a CRIS account can be created and available for use at CRIS debut. Prescribers and nurses do not have to complete this form. The form is available on the CRIS web site,

A CRIS Practice Lab is available to help you get a head start in learning CRIS. It is located on the first floor of the Clinical Center. Look for the blue curtain near the CRC exhibit across from the admissions desk. It's open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- noon and 1-4 p.m.

For more information call the training hotline, the CRIS Support Center (301) 496-8400 or take an online tutorial at

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