The Next-Generation CTMS: Leveraging the Best of Excel™, Sharepoint™, and the Internet

Since the adoption of personal computers into bio-pharma companies, can you imagine how many clinical trial trackers have been created in Excel or similar spreadsheet tools? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Spreadsheets are a universally accepted tool for planning and tracking data-driven tasks.  However, desktop spreadsheets start to break down when needs for collaboration, validation, workflow and security arise.

How many times have you searched through your email in-box for the latest spreadsheet tracker attachment? And if you could find it, how out of date was that tracker? Or how many times have you found a tracking tool is corrupted, customized for someone else’s desired view, or available only as a read-only document?

We understand the importance of tried and true trackers and the benefits they provide in organizing tabular views of data, ease of data entry and edits, and team member familiarity. But what’s the best way to balance this familiarity with the flexibility needed for global clinical study teams?

Web-Based File Sharing With Sharepoint™

SharePoint™ is also a widely adopted tool frequently utilized by the bio-pharma industry as a repository for sharing files and ideas on-line. For straightforward needs, it serves the purpose.  However, many companies have neither the time nor the resources to address the customizations that would enable immediate usability by internal and external team members. Significant customizations often require eClinical system administrators that may not understand the workflows that occur between internal team members and external vendors, document sharing nuances, or how to identify and protect sensitive content.

We have personally experienced the challenges in trying to setup a SharePoint structure to meet project needs, confirm that proprietary content has been restricted, and allow external partner access. Additionally and as a matter of example, we feel strongly that well-meaning project team members who search “financial” information for investigator payment records should not inadvertently stumble upon sensitive employee payroll information as we did. So how do you build upon the shared repository structure and information sharing concept with the flexibility to suit all needs?

Improving Security Without Conceding Familiarity

Web-based technologies have made great strides in communication and collaboration, especially for global teams (both internal and external providers).  However, the clinical trial management domain is both broad and complex.  General web-based technology is not specific enough by itself to address the specific bio-pharma needs for clinical study management.

So why not take the best of all worlds?  That is the question we asked as we designed and built SimpleCTMS as a next-generation eClinical tool.  We utilized proven and effective information management models, including the already familiar spreadsheet and file-repository elements.  We also combined the latest in pure web technologies with our years of clinical study know-how to develop the requirements and functionality needed for effective clinical study management. 

This combination of technologies and tools provides the following benefits:

  • Easy to Use, Easy to Adopt
  • Real-time, accurate information
  • File Storage and Sharing in the clinical study context
  • Validation and Workflow
  • Communication
  • Security
  • Dashboards, Graphs, Reports
  • Familiar tabular data views that are easy to enter and update

As a pure web solution that supports all major browsers and platforms (Mac and PC), SimpleCTMS is not built on Microsoft technologies (such as Excel™ or Sharepoint™), but it does provide integration points for both.

See for yourself how SimpleCTMS bridges the gap between familiarity and data security by joining us at our next free online webinar. Sign up here!