Onsemble Community Members Work to Transform Clinical Research with a Site-Centric Approach

Meghan Hosely
September 19th, 2019

Even though we are now halfway through the 2019 Fall Onsemble Conference, it feels as if we’re just getting started. The past few days in Forte’s hometown of Madison, Wisconsin have been filled with great conversations and collaborations between our attendees, made in hopes of advancing and accelerating the clinical research industry. Every conversation I’ve been in and presentation I’ve attended have left me feeling nothing short of inspired and excited for the future of clinical trials.

Yesterday, our day started with a Keynote from Forte’s Founder, CEO and Chief Customer Officer Shree Kalluri and ended with a product & services happy hour. In between, however, everyone sat in various sessions, ranging from “Ask the IRB Director” to “Leveraging OnCore in Contracting at an Academic Medical Center.”

Attendees at the 2019 Fall Onsemble Conference. Photo by Shanna Wolf, S. Photography.

Recruiting and Maintaining Participants

A big challenge for research staff is recruiting patients for their trials. University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine’s Courtney Kennedy presented on “Optimizing Recruitment and Best Practices,” providing session members with tangible tips on finding and convincing potential participants to become part of a clinical trial.

Kennedy’s main points centered on alignment, clarity and focus – three things she said makes anyone successful in whatever they are doing. Once research staff tie in their day-to-day tasks into their overall strategy, the better staff can align their goals, and work toward recruiting quality participants for their study. Once subjects come in, Kennedy said, it’s easier for them to become champions for the system used.

Forming and Maintaining Relationships

Another challenge in the research community is the relationship sites have with their Institutional Review Board (IRB), whether they are local IRBs or not. Mariette Marsh, Director, Human Subjects Protection & Privacy Program at the University of Arizona provided insight to developing relationships with both local and non-local IRBs in her session, “Maximizing Your Relationship with Your IRB(s).” (Similar to her “Ask the IRB Director” session, in which Marsh answered questions from session attendees.)

Marsh’s biggest takeaway: communicate often with your IRB and with peers. Building a relationship with your IRB takes time, and often happens after establishing key contacts within your IRB, asking for training and setting up standing meetings. 

Moving Toward the Future

Yesterday afternoon, Forte’s Chief Product Officer James Wurdeman closed the day, presenting the Product & Plans Keynote. Wurdeman brought Sarah Stewart from the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center to share UWCCC’s experience using Insights. Stewart touched on what the institution looked like before Insights, what it looks like now and where they are heading.

Forte’s Chief Product Officer James Wurdeman gives the Product & Plans keynote. Photo by Shanna Wolf, S. Photography.

Kirsten Linsenmeyer from The Ohio State University also took to the stage during the keynote, giving her institution’s testimony for implementing Forte’s eRegulatory system. OSU was the first customer to go live with eReg and is currently working with Forte’s validation team.

At the end of the keynote, Wurdeman unveiled a new service offering: Forte EDC Study Design Service – designed to address the challenges of speed, quality and lack of resources often faced by sites when designing studies in Forte EDC.

Even though Onsemble is winding down, it’s not completely over just yet. Tonight, we will all gather for the Final Night Dinner to celebrate not only everything we’ve worked towards this week, but all year long. It’s our hope that the celebrations, conversations and collaborations this week is carried over to our customer’s respective institutions and maintained throughout the rest of the year.

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