Health care workers invited to join the HERO Registry

Published on April 27, 2020

HeroesResearch.org clinical research registry aims to answer crucial questions about the impact of novel coronavirus on health care workers’ lives

Health care workers across the country, including those from University of Iowa Health Care, are invited to join the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes Registry — known as the HERO Registry — a large, national clinical research community sharing clinical and life experiences to understand the perspectives and problems they face on the COVID-19 pandemic front lines.

The goal of the HERO Registry, which hopes to enroll hundreds of thousands of health care workers, is to rapidly generate the evidence needed to better protect health care workers’ health and well-being. The HERO Registry will engage health care 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.

“This registry is important because it is contributing to our knowledge of what it’s like to care for patients at this time,” says Loreen Herwaldt, MD, UI professor of internal medicine ­ infectious diseases. “By gathering questions and suggestions from health care workers about issues and problems they are encountering, the HERO Registry also gives heath care workers a voice in what needs to be studied in future research.”

HERO Registry Clinical Trials

The HERO Registry will also help speed clinical studies that address unmet needs for health care workers. The first study, known as the HERO-HCQ trial, aims to enroll 15,000 HERO Registry participants in a randomized clinical trial to evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil®) is better than placebo in preventing COVID-19 infection.

The HERO-HCQ trial and the HERO Registry are funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The trial will be conducted through clinical research sites in PCORI’s National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet).

The University of Iowa is a member of The Greater Plains Collaborative (www.gpcnetwork.org/), one of the nine clinical research networks in PCORnet.

“PCORnet is a unique national resource for conducting research on real-world questions affecting patients, clinicians, and communities,” says Elizabeth Chrischilles, professor and head of the UI Department of Epidemiology and UI principal investigator for PCORnet.

The HERO Registry is open to all U.S. health care workers age 18 or older, including nurses, therapists, physicians, emergency responders, food service workers, environmental service workers, interpreters, transporters — anyone who works in a setting where people receive health care.

There is no cost to enroll in the HERO Registry and registration takes only a few minutes. Health care 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 Duke Clinical Research Institute and data guidelines to keep health care worker information secure.

“We would like as many heath care workers as possible from UI Health Care as well as across the state to register because the HERO registry could provide valuable information about the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Iowa,” Herwaldt adds. “By participating we may also have the option for proposing additional studies of our own.”

To learn more about the HERO Registry, visit https://heroesresearch.org.