Three New Orleans hospitals will participate in a national study focused on the impact COVID-19 is having on healthcare workers. Ochsner Medical Center, Tulane Health System, and University Medical Center will all encourage local healthcare workers to join the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry, which is gathering personal accounts of clinical and life experiences from healthcare workers across the country with the goal of understanding the perspectives and problems faced by those on the COVID-19 pandemic front lines.
The registry will unite America’s healthcare workers into a community to facilitate rapid-cycle research, including an upcoming large study of hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness in preventing coronavirus infections in healthcare workers. The HERO research program leverages PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, and is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). REACHnet, a program of the Louisiana Public Health Institute and funded by PCORI, is acting as the coordinating center for the three New Orleans sites.
The HERO Registry is asking hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals to participate, including nurses, therapists, physicians, emergency responders, food service workers, environmental services workers, interpreters, and transporters – anyone who works in a setting where people receive health care.
“The response of our region’s and nation’s frontline workers – especially those in healthcare – to the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of heroic,” said Dr. Brandon Mauldin, Tulane Health System’s chief medical officer. “We all want to do everything we can to continue to support these individuals and understand how this situation has and is affecting them.”
The goals of the registry are to engage healthcare workers in a research community, understand their experiences and interests through ongoing surveys, and track critical health outcomes associated with caring for patients with COVID-19, such as stress and burnout. The HERO Registry will help speed clinical studies that address unmet needs for healthcare workers, such as an upcoming study of hydroxychloroquine. HERO-HCQ is a randomized clinical trial of approximately 15,000 HERO Registry participants that will evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil®) is better than placebo in preventing COVID-19 infection. It will be conducted through clinical research sites in PCORnet, including Ochsner and University Medical Center.
“Ochsner recognizes that providing support to our healthcare workers on the frontlines is a vital need – both for our community and our industry as a whole. We are proud to team up with Tulane Health System and University Medical Center, as well as healthcare systems across the nation to connect healthcare workers with the national HERO registry. We are confident that the findings will pave the way for additional support for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 response and for years to come,” said Julie Castex, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, principal investigator for the HERO-HCQ Trial site at Ochsner).
There is no cost to enroll in the HERO Registry and registration takes only a few minutes. Healthcare workers can participate as much or as little as they like in surveys and other opportunities. The registry will follow a protocol developed by the DCRI and data guidelines to keep healthcare worker information secure.
“We’re excited to partner with hospitals and health systems in our area on this important project,” said Dr. Jyotsna Fuloria, vice president of clinical research at University Medical Center, which is part of LCMC Health. “Our healthcare workers have been at the forefront of the New Orleans COVID-19 response. Participating in the HERO Registry is one of the many ways we are involved in researching questions and collecting data that will enable us to enhance our support of our people both in the near and distant future.”
To learn more about the HERO Registry, visit https://heroesresearch.org.