Embedded Clinical Research and Innovation Unit (ECRI)

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About Us

The Embedded Clinical Research and Innovation (ECRIteam focus is on:

  • large institutional research and quality improvement projects that require experienced level implementation, recruitment, and full operational support services to get projects off the ground running.
  • ECRI specializes in taking on UCLA leadership’s high priority projects to assure success in implementation, recruitment, and outcomes. The team works closely with the Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine to help bond research and clinical care into a seamless integrated partnership.

Our team works closely with UCLA’s IRB, security and compliance, CareConnect, and OHIA to help implement and operationalize large projects. Furthermore, the unit is specialized in high volume, multi-site clinical impact projects seeking to innovate health care within UCLA and beyond. We work closely with Research Connect and other vendors to improve and pioneer recruitment methods used in large-scale initiatives at UCLA while having little to no impact on standard operating procedures.

ECRI Collaborations

A significant portion of our team’s efforts go to managing operations for:

  1. UCLA’s Institute for Precision Health ATLAS Project/Universal Consent, as well as all Precision Health related projects that require research and in-clinic implementation support. 
  2. The UCLA Center for SMART Health where we operationalize and recruit participants for their projects involving smart health wearable technologies.
  3. Managing the Athena Breast Health Network for UCLA and the Los Angeles regional sites. This network focuses on breast cancer screening prevention studies, including the WISDOM study. WISDOM is a collaboration between all UCs and The Sanford Medical centers in the Midwest.

To inquire about ECRI services, please contact ECRI director, Antonia Petruse at apetruse@mednet.ucla.edu or call office line at (310) 794-0367.

Last updated: 24 Apr 2020


ECRI offers a range of services from study development, feasibility assessment, implementation and operational services through consultation in the five areas below. The services are available as a one-time consulting service and/or the ECRI unit can offer support in the services needed for the duration of the study.


  • Protocol Development
  • IRB Consultation
  • Compliance Consultation
  • Assessment & Design of research workflows to be integrated in clinical settings
  • Identifying stakeholder(s) and/or serve as liaison with clinical/departmental leadership
  • Development of communication & recruitment content
  • Cognitive Testing


  • Study Coordination
  • Onsite Coordination
  • Outcomes Routine metrics & reporting (OHIA)
  • Optimization of recruitment procedures & workflows
  • Clinic/Research staff orientation/training in clinical & hospital settings
  • Focus Groups
  • Translation of study consent forms and other documents


  • Traditional In-Person
  • MyChart (myUCLAHealth)
  • Automated phone system calling
  • Direct email recruitment
  • Text message based recruitment
  • Animated videos for education/consent


  • IRB Consultation
  • UCON Electronic consenting via iPad App
  • UCON Electronic consenting via MyChart


  • Data and/or specimens from Precision Health Biobank
  • Data and/or specimens from Athena Mammography Registry
  • Data and/or specimens from COVID-19 Registry
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020


To make and ECRI request please complete the steps below:

  1. Fill out the entire ECRI Project Request Form 
  2. Email the completed Form to ECRIrequest@mednet.ucla.edu 
  3. If you have any questions/inquiries you can contact:  Antonia Petruse, ECRI Director at APetruse@mednet.ucla.edu or (310) 794-0367.
  4. After your Request form is received and reviewed you will be contacted by the ECRI Director for a meeting. Please be prepared to answer the questions below:
    • Do you need help developing a protocol for your project?
    • Do you know at this time if you need IRB, or Security and Compliance sign off?
    • Do you have an existing IRB? Would you like help with a current or new IRB?
    • Do you know at this time if you need assistance from CareConnect on this project (i.e. build requests, metrics and reporting)?
    • Are you interested in recruitment assistance?
    • Are you looking for consulting only?
    • What is your Go Live? What is your timeline for the extension of the need of our assistance?
    • Do you have funding for this request or are you putting in for Grant and would like to include us?
    • Would you like to hear more about how to piggy back on the UCLA Universal Consent?


Last updated: 23 Apr 2020


Some projects that ECRI is currently working on include:

Precision Medicine

  • Management and implementation of operations, and servicing of the UCLA wide Universal Consent Project (in clinic, MyChart, text messaging). https://www.uclahealth.org/precision-health/atlas  
  • Servicing the Institute for Precision Health projects and related sub-studies.

To inquire about ECRI services, please send your request or questions to ECRIrequest@mednet.ucla.edu or contact ECRI Director, Antonia Petruse at apetruse@mednet.ucla.edu or call office line at (310)794-0367.


Other recruitment support provided to various studies via our innovative recruitment methods and patient outreach networks.

Athena Breast Health Network

Recruit and implementation for all studies that are part of the California and nationwide Athena Breast Health Network.  http://www.athenacarenetwork.org/home

The Depression Grand Challenge Project

Servicing recruitment and implementation of The Depression Grand Challenge Project   http://grandchallenges.ucla.edu/depression/

UCLA Center for SMART Health

Servicing recruitment and implementation of patient facing aspects of UCLA’s Center For Smart Health research studies. https://www.cs.ucla.edu/center-for-smart-health/


Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
Last updated: 23 Oct 2019