Approximately 100 researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC learned about the new initiatives being implemented to help navigate the complex world of clinical trials reporting and tracking at a town hall that took place April 21 on the Health Sciences Campus.
Four speakers presented information about the services available, such as the newly expanded Clinical Trials Office (CTO), Clinical Research Support (CRS), the new clinical trials management system recently implemented called OnCore and the Research Data Warehouse.
April Armstrong, MD, MPH, associate dean for clinical research, spoke on the goal of CRS to become more efficient in providing assistance to the clinical trial research community.
“We wanted to have something that’s a one-stop shop in which one can look to develop study proposals, conduct studies and report results,” Armstrong explained. She went on to introduce Diana Palma, who serves as the research navigator for the office and who helps researchers understand and use the resources they need for a successful study.
CTO, meanwhile, recently saw some big changes, including the appointment of a new director, Melissa Archer, JD, who spoke about what the office hopes to accomplish going forward.
“Our goals are to increase efficiency, transparency and customer service,” she stated. “I’ve been talking to the team about how we are a service-based office. We’ve put some new folks in there to make sure we have the capacity to service the clinical trials community at USC.”
This year so far, there has been a decrease of 53 percent in the backlog of clinical trials at the CTO that have been submitted for development and activation.
Amanda Schmitz, project manager for clinical research informatics applications, presented an overview of OnCore, a comprehensive clinical trials management system recently implemented that will help researchers manage many aspects of conducting clinical trials.
Another resource for researchers that is available is the Research Data Warehouse, a searchable database of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant clinical information that can be utilized by all clinical research staff. Daniella Meeker, PhD, assistant professor of preventative medicine, explained that the information available could help with planning criteria for studies, screening and recruiting, and health outcomes and implementation science.