In a recent article on the importance of establishing staff buy-in during clinical trial management system (CTMS) implementation, I discussed ways to ensure your system end users are on board with the implementation process. The article examined how establishing staff buy-in can increase the benefit seen from a CTMS at your clinical research site.
To further ensure your system is used to its fullest potential, it’s essential to adequately train your staff and actively communicate relevant implementation plans and timelines.
Clearly communicate rollout plan
Once you’ve selected a CTMS for your organization, it’s crucial to clearly define the steps you’ll take to implement it. Diving right into implementation without an action plan will only lead to confusion. The larger your organization, the more time your internal team should spend developing a detailed implementation and rollout plan. Consider the following questions:
- Do you currently have data stored in a separate location that will need to be imported into your new CTMS?
- Who will have final say on setup and data-import decisions?
- How will you structure rollout? Will you take a phased approach or open up the system to all users at once?
- Who will require CTMS training and how will that training be structured?
- By what date do you hope your CTMS will be fully operational?
As you plan to roll out your new CTMS, it’s important to consider the different groups of users and how each will use the system’s unique functions. Your users may include clinical research coordinators and principal investigators, in addition to regulatory and finance personnel, nurses and pharmacy staff. Keep in mind each user group is going to use your CTMS differently, and training will need to be customized to fit the needs and workflows of the individual groups.
Tailor training to each group
Keep in mind each user group is going to use your CTMS differently, and training will need to be customized to fit the needs and workflows of the individual groups. Your CTMS provider should help you develop training plans that fit each user group. The ideal CTMS training session provides a high-level overview of the system’s functionality and navigation, but also zeroes in on the specific tools within the application that training participants will need to understand in order to use the system right away.
CTMS training sessions can be overwhelming, especially when the sessions are the first time trainees are seeing a new system. To maximize user adoption, be sure to supplement initial training sessions with resources users can access after training is complete. CTMS providers often offer continued education opportunities or on-demand training resources your staff can use.
Consider designating one or two core users from your site to act as internal champions for your new CTMS. These core users can be trained on all components within the CTMS, and serve as internal point-persons for other users at your organization who have questions about system functionality. Core users can also help solidify best practices surrounding your organization’s workflows and work closely with your vendor’s support team to stay current on new features and functionality within your CTMS.
Establish clear and realistic timelines
The length of time it takes to implement a CTMS varies from one site to the next based on number of users, number of trials, and whether an organization has any past experience using a CTMS. As you develop a rollout plan for your CTMS, be sure to consider the scope in order to set attainable deadlines.
As an example, a rollout plan for a site with multiple departments and user groups might define department-specific implementation deadlines. Such an institution might also designate which studies will be added to the CTMS and when, and assign the responsibility of inputting study-related data to a specific person or group of people.
To learn more methods for communicating with your staff during CTMS implementation, read our free eBook, “Implementing a CTMS: Essential Steps to Get You Started.”