COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Trial


In December, 2019, numerous patients in Wuhan, China were diagnosed with pneumonia caused by an unknown virus. By January 7, 2020, Chinese scientists had isolated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This is a novel beta coronavirus closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1). In the subsequent months, the spread of the virus has caused a global pandemic. As of March 24, 2020, there were over 415,000 cases and over 18,000 deaths worldwide. Healthcare workers have been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic. As of March 2020, over 3,300 Chinese healthcare workers have been infected. In Spain, 5,400 healthcare workers have been infected, accounting for 14% of the country’s total infections. In Brescia, the center of Italy’s outbreak, 10-15% of doctors and nurses have been infected and are unable to work. In addition to potential exposure to infected patients, a critical shortage of personal protective equipment and respirators put healthcare professionals at even greater risk.


1. Create a virtual community of adult HCWs in the United States 

2. Identify HCWs interested in engaging in upcoming research studies, including those related to COVID-19

3. Create a dataset of health-related measurements, risk factors, and outcomes for future analysis

The goals of the registry are to engage healthcare workers in a research community, understand their experiences and interests, 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.

Study Design:

Study Population: The HERO Registry will include HCWs currently working across the United States.For the purposes of this study, a “healthcare worker” is defined as an individual who currently works in a setting where individuals receive healthcare. (Note: individuals do not have to work directly with patients, but may have any role within a setting where individuals receive healthcare, such as housekeeping, food service, etc.)

Study Eligibility Criteria: Volunteers will be eligible to participate in the HERO Registry if they meet the criteria listed below. 

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Individual currently works in a setting where individuals receive healthcare (“healthcare worker”) in the United States (including emergency medical services)
  • Age ≥18
  • Able to speak and read English or Spanish

Exclusion Criteria: There are no specific exclusion criteria for this study. Participants must meet inclusion criteria.