Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine is adopting a new system to help maximize and streamline its clinical trials management and data collection. Elements of the new system will go live later this month, with the entire system expected to be online in January.
The new system — called the OnCore Enterprise Research System —replaces “a home-grown system” that has served Siteman well but has been in need of a significant upgrade, said Nick Fisher, director of operations at Siteman. “As clinical research in cancer becomes more complicated and advanced, so do the needs of our investigators and researchers. As a result, many cancer centers in the country are transitioning to commercially available systems.”
The system’s functional components, called modules, have been developed in collaboration with leading research organizations, so the system’s capabilities are closely attuned to changing regulatory requirements and clinical needs. For instance, one module automatically alerts researchers to any relevant safety information every time they pull up a subject’s file. Another module enables scientific review committees to share and manage their files electronically.
Fisher singled out the new system’s calendar module as an improvement over Siteman’s previous system. “In the past, I could enter a patient’s start and stop date in our system, but I had to then separately track all the data in between,” he explained. “The new system will allow our research teams to map out patients’ entire treatment plans, monitor them as they progress through each step and adjust the calendar as needed.”
The system also will improve communication between Siteman and the 30-plus other NCI-designated facilities that already have adopted it. Such communication could be critical when multiple facilities are conducting the same trials.
“When we are all reporting our results, we are able to monitor metrics across a much broader scope of users,” Fisher said. “That is a lot of powerful data. It will allow us to compare ourselves to our peer institutions and identify best practices. ”
Members of Siteman’s implementation team have joined the system’s community boards, where users from across 70-plus facilities share tips on how to make the most of the system’s features.