Scientists across the globe are busier than ever conducting critical biological and medical research, whether it involves trying to better understand common health issues or searching for pharmaceutical solutions for challenging diseases. While the wait for funding to become available may cause some delay, one of the biggest bottlenecks in the research world has traditionally been the all-important protocol submission and review process. For anyone that has ever experienced the research world, you know that this process can be tedious, involving a variety of individuals and committees, lots of detailed paperwork, and lengthy back-and-forth communications and meetings.
The good news? This process has been developing alongside the research it dictates. Advances in cloud-based EHS software solutions have dramatically improved the efficiency of protocol review efforts. Using this comprehensive tool, researchers can more rapidly kickstart important studies while ensuring excellent communication of critical safety and compliance information. The following is a detailed look into each key component of protocol management software and what advantages over conventional methods come with its implementation.
All In One Place
Cloud-based protocol management software allows the entirety of your protocol review process to happen all in one place. That means that IBC, IACUC, and IRB committees, as well as the applicant and biosafety office personnel, can all interact with the system simultaneously in one platform. This feature simplifies back-and-forth communication, nullifying the hassles of juggling different software suites and emailing paperwork. Being “in the cloud” means that all parties can have quick and secure access via web browser from any location.
Real-Time Communications & Updates
Biosafety protocol management software programs typically include a variety of real-time, automated email notifications that alert users when their attention is needed. Examples of these useful communications include:
- Notice to biosafety office members when a protocol is submitted
- Notice to approvers/reviewers when they are added to a submission, or their review is required
- Notice to applicant/approvers/reviewers when new comments have been added to a form
- Final notice to the applicant and all lab members when a protocol has been approved
The level of clarity and rapidity that comes with this form of communication keeps all essential personnel up to date throughout the entire review and approval process. Additionally, full automation ensures discussion remains strong and uninterrupted.
Fully Configurable Smart Forms
An integral piece of any protocol management software program is the electronic smart forms that applicants must utilize when submitting their work. In a quality platform, these forms will be extremely configurable and feature a variety of questions and data collection options to suit the needs of the institution. Flexibility within these forms guarantees all data is collected properly while enabling greater capacity for applicants’ comprehension and interaction.
Efficient Amendments & Renewals
In addition to initial biosafety protocol applications, researchers may often need to submit amendments or renew their applications. Protocol management software programs are well suited for this task. Utilizing these programs, users do not need to completely resubmit lengthy forms for each amendment or renewal. Applicants simply select the protocol submission they wish to amend/renew and make the required changes. Reviewers/approvers are automatically notified of these alterations, making the amendment/renewal process tremendously more efficient for both end-users and reviewers/approvers.
Seamless Modular Integration
As an added benefit, many protocol management software programs can integrate seamlessly with other modules in their parent EHS software platform. This feature is extremely handy when additional approval aspects (such as safety inspections or roster member training) are required. This capacity for integration greatly streamlines reviewer/approver efforts.
Cloud-based biosafety protocol management presents advantages to traditional approaches across all areas of the protocol review process. The mission of any institution’s biosafety management office is to review submissions not only in the most thorough, but also in the most expeditious manner possible, so as not to create any unnecessary hindrance to important research. By leveraging powerful protocol management software, an optimal review experience has never been more accessible.
Joe comes to the SafetyStratus team with over 15 years of experience in the biological sciences and laboratory management and safety. At the University of Connecticut, and later at the University of the Sciences, Joe managed multiple high-volume biology teaching laboratories. He also worked as an Aquatic Biologist for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds. Most recently Joe held the position of Laboratory Safety Manager in the University of the Sciences’ Environmental Health & Safety Department, overseeing all aspects of safety inspections and compliance in over 150 campus teaching and research spaces.
Originally from Connecticut, Joe has lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for the last 10 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. In his free time, Joe enjoys working out, taking in a good football game or movie, and traveling with his wife to sunny Caribbean destinations whenever possible.