One of the primary benefits a web-based CTMS offers is a high degree of flexibility in terms of access to data. This includes access to all stakeholders, including partners and outsourced service vendors working on a particular study. Managing this access has never been easier, given improvements in technology.
I recently came across an interesting article discussing “partner portals”, and this idea reinforced the decision we made to integrate similar functional features within the SimpleCTMS application design. Adding this functionality would offer tremendous value to the end user, helping to create a “one stop” document repository for shared documents and protocols. The SimpleCTMS application takes the portal idea one step further by offering APIs and connectors to feed and pull data from various sources in an automated and secure manner (i.e. no manual uploads).
At a CTMS conference I attended last year, many people were looking for a way to bridge information across studies and programs. As partnerships change and collaborations are formed, end users often face the challenge of having critical information available in separate partners and legacy systems. This is probably an ongoing challenge for many study sponsors that base their clinical management outsourcing decisions on the best/leading vendors for each specialty area and no longer select one vendor to provide all services. As they have diversified and expanded the number of outsourced service providers, they have increased the workload associated with archiving and accessing that data across multiple systems.
“The contract research market grew 13% in 2009, reaching $23.5 billion”
As the article mentions, CROs saw strong growth in 2009, and this occurred despite a down economy and widespread layoffs in other industries. This just reinforces the need to “link” all these various outsourced vendors to a flexible system as teams, programs, collaborations, and partners scale up and down.
“It will become essential for firms to establish collaborative communications with their partners and leverage workflows to help encourage communication and improve the efficiency of the working relationship.”
As more study sponsors select specialty vendors/CROs by region, there is a growing need to tie things together yet empower the outsourced “partners” with easy access to documents and study data. A web-based CTMS such as SimpleCTMS can go a long way towards improving that collaborative communication.