Integrating Community Research Programs While Increasing Compliance and Investigator Engagement
Due to multiple factors in the ever changing landscape of oncology care, cancer programs are joining forces and integrating even though geographically they are separated quite some distance. Differences in the approach of maintaining compliance with regulations and driving Investigator engagement quickly emerge. An outlined systematic approach to standardizing policies, procedures and guidelines must be adopted. Establishing standard operating procedures and expectations related to communication with the research staff help lay the groundwork to a strong foundation. The development of a Research Quality Dashboard that is updated monthly and discussed at the system wide mandatory Research Oversight meeting helps ensure increased patient safety and a reduction of enrollment errors, deviations and timely reporting of Serious Adverse Events. Oversight meetings provide one contained time point where all Investigators are provided with updates on training and protocol status. Investigators are also updated on their Performance and Compliance Matrix Score during the oversight meeting on a quarterly basis. The Performance and Compliance Matrix clearly defines the expectations and requirements to become and Investigator. Several levels of the matrix help drive engagement and provide and opportunity in shared decision making related to the research program direction and future vision by harnessing the naturally competitive nature of medical professionals. Using these strategies to integrate Oncology Research programs will increase documented compliance measures, provide reportable outcomes and drive Investigator engagement and result in a highly successful and functioning network program.