Work Effort Tracking and Management Revisited [Q&A]

Beth Harper
President, Clinical Performance Partners, Inc.
August 20th, 2015

 Do you feel acuity and complexity of protocols and patient populations play a large part in determining work effort?

 Absolutely. The two biggest factors that we discussed were the complexity of the protocol and the volume and rate of accrual. We are still at the infancy stage in our industry in terms of quantifying protocol complexity and predicting enrollment rates with accuracy. Forte will be embarking on some additional pilot projects around these areas in the coming months and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress. We welcome comments and suggestions for how your organization has evaluated and managed these two critical aspects affecting workload.

 Are there established tools that would allow sites to score a study before it even goes to IRB in order to understand what effort it might entail?

 The short answer is no, we don’t have tools yet that allow a site to benchmark data or plug in simple formulas upfront to calculate work effort. However, that is exactly what’s behind the pilot projects we are working on and the goal of getting more sites to upload their data into Research Resonance Network (RRN). Without a central repository of information to compare and contrast work effort by study type, phase, indication, complexity and so forth, we are all really operating in a vacuum, relying on anecdotes or some historical and not necessarily accurate information. To achieve this, it does require that sites of all shapes and sizes make a commitment to contribute some data. As we discussed in the webinar, just start small with your biggest “pain points” and a simple, several day effort can often be very revealing. The Forte team looks forward to sharing more results from the pilot projects and gaining more momentum across all sites to support the RRN benchmark data.

 Can you share some more examples of systems available for tracking effort?

 A general internet search on “time and motion” software will reveal a plethora of programs available, but again, these are not specific to research, which is why I like to advocate using your CTMS program and, ideally, uploading the data to Research Resonance Network (if you are not a user of Forte’s systems) so we can gain a larger pool of benchmark data that is research specific.However, here are some possible other resources that were mentioned by attendees. I do not have specific experience with any of these programs but you may be interested in exploring further:

A few mobile apps are available, however, I do not know anyone who has used or adapted these for the world of clinical research:

 Can you suggest any general online learning sources, links, articles, etc.?

 Beyond the various articles outlined in the initial and most recent webinar, you might check out resources related to Six Sigma, lean manufacturing or other industrial engineering courses where many of these principles were developed. Here are a few links to get you started:

Learn more:

Interested in learning more? Watch a recording of the full webinar!

On-Demand Webinar: Work Effort Tracking and Management Revisited: The Value and Process for Your Site