Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS) work to organize the complexity of the clinical trial process, and tabs play a critical role in that effort. Tabs are a standard UI metaphor that help users understand the complex ways that information is related. They organize and represent groups of data and information in a clear, concise, hierarchy. By their very nature they are important.
So why do certain industry pundits find them so offensive? Critics claim that too many CTMS options overwhelm the user with too many tabs. We appreciate the call for simplicity. However, fewer tabs would reduce/eliminate support for the many critical aspects of clinical trial management. Fewer tabs may also lead to less organized data. Neither of which make sense for an effective clinical management tool.
Tabs exist for a reason. They represent important groups of data in the clinical trial management process. They help create a simplified, linear approach to managing a complex process. They can be structured chronologically to represent the linear passage of time. They help present complex tables of data in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm the viewer with too much information at any give time, and aids the viewer by directing them to the specific source of their inquiry for information.
Simply reducing the number of tabs in the name of simplifying the look and feel of an online clinical trial management system would be neither smart or prudent. By their very nature, clinical trial management systems are complex. Effective online clinical trial management systems are designed by professionals with extensive study management experience, who understand the unique requirements that go into building a CTMS.
Simultaneously managing multiple global clinical studies can be an overwhelming, expensive burden to a small drug development company lacking the resources to commit to an enterprise-wide solution. SaaS-based clinical trial management systems have simplified the process for emerging drug development organizations to take advantage of the benefits of a CTMS, without the prohibitively expensive financial commitment required with an enterprise solution. SaaS-based solutions such as SimpleCTMS simplify the process without cutting corners on functionality. SimpleCTMS offers a high degree of functionality organized into a familiar tab-based navigation, which allows the user to easily hide any tabs not in use. For example, if using SimpleCTMS early in the study life-cycle, to plan site activations and enrollment, a user (or the team) could choose to hide the safety and data management tabs. This simplifies the CTMS view and allows the users to better focus on the task at hand. When the user is ready to use any of those hidden tabs, they can be re-enabled with a few clicks. Some systems might consider this a high-degree of customization, but we simply put it in the hands of the user.
Although we can’t take all the complexity out of clinical trial management, we can organize workflows and information to boost study management productivity, encourage thoughtful team member collaboration and allow easy customization.