Utilizing Integrated Technology Solutions to Address Key Cancer Research Challenges

Meghan Hosely
September 29th, 2020

At Advarra, we work to make research altogether better through a collaborative approach with the clinical research community. On October 12-13, we will join the clinical research community at AACI-CCAF’s Annual Meeting to address common challenges and industry hot topics including diversity, equality, and inclusion among participants and staff; compliance with current NCI CCSG guidelines; and strategies for providing quality patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s annual meeting is brought to attendees virtually, and Advarra is proud to present Leveraging Integrated Clinical Research Solutions to Streamline Your Trials on day two of the conference. Attendees will hear Carrie Nemke and Cheryl Byers from Advarra discussing the role of integrated technology and professional services in helping sites reduce study activation timelines, a topic more relevant than ever during the pandemic. Below are just a few ways integrated solutions can address key challenges for cancer centers.

Technology Integrations

As research protocols have become more complex, so has the operational management associated with those protocols. To help alleviate the administrative burden associated with increased protocol complexity, it’s more apparent than ever that sites leverage integrated solutions to streamline operations.

While using a clinical trial management system (CTMS) allows sites to conduct better, more efficient research, sites can connect internal systems to the CTMS through integration. Applying these integrations empowers sites to support clinical research activities, enhance participant safety, and reduce duplicative effort within an organization. Integrating with Advarra’s OnCore Enterprise Research CTMS offers sites the opportunity to better support research using the following integrations:

  • Electronic medical record (EMR) interface for protocol information such as protocol number, title and principal investigator, as well as subject information
  • Demographic interface to exchange data such as contact information, patient identifiers, date of birth, gender, and ethnicity
  • EMR protocol billing grid interface to support billing compliance and to streamline communication
  • Receivables interface to manage invoices and reconcile payment within OnCore and your general ledger system
  • API integration with system such as an eIRB

Integrating a CTMS with an electronic regulatory binder system such as Advarra eReg also leads to many benefits for regulatory and clinical staff, allowing them to complete tasks more efficiently. Oftentimes, institutions enter data related to protocols, staff, and the organization into both a CTMS and eRegulatory system. Integrating these two systems greatly reduces the time it takes to add data, allowing staff to focus on research. By prepopulating protocol and staff data, this also minimizes the risk of any errors or inconsistencies as data moves between the two platforms.

In addition to the integrated solutions above, cancer centers in particular can benefit from Advarra’s Research Evaluation System (EVAL). Allowing centers to effectively and accurately measure their research return on investment (ROI), EVAL helps provide efficiencies for reporting to the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) cancer center support grant (CCSG).

IRB and IBC Integrations

Integrating centralized IRB capabilities proves to be especially beneficial in multi-site studies. By taking on human subject protection responsibilities, centralized IRBs help to make research programs more efficient and appealing to sponsored research. This also allows sites to lean on centralized IRBs to handle the bulk of research oversight and allow research administration staff to focus on things that require more local attention, such as investigator-initiated trials (IITs) and research training. For sites seeking to outsource all IRB operations, Advarra GPS offers solutions for sites that increase the capacity of local IRBs and allow them to focus on what’s important from a local perspective.

For institutional biosafety committees (IBCs), many local IBCs are mainly experienced in the pre-clinical or non-clinical space, and committee members aren’t necessarily prepared to review biosafety concerns for clinical research. An external IBC is able to provide that expertise and help ensure participants, research staff, and the community are appropriately protected from the risks of this novel research. By allowing sites to focus on the research conduct, they are better equipped to successfully meet protocol milestones and can grow their research programs overall.

Services Integrations

Over the past few years, Advarra has expanded the suite of professional services to provide continued support while alleviating administrative burdens. Starting with Calendars services, designed to improve protocol compliance and quality and reduce study activation timelines, Advarra has expanded to better serve the research community. Since then, the suite has expanded to assist in coverage analysis, budget negotiation, staff augmentation, and EDC study design. Most services are aligned with Advarra technology to further integrate and streamline customer experience.

If you are an NCI-designated cancer center, we look forward to meeting with you and discussing how we can make your research altogether better. If you aren’t attending AACI-CCAF and want to learn more, Advarra provides efficiencies for academic medical centers, cancer centers and health systems.

Contact us today