The Patient Study Calendar Streamlines Trial Management at Kimmel Cancer Center
Clinical researchers and trial coordinators at the Kimmel Cancer Center of Thomas Jefferson University are using the caBIG« Patient Study Calendar (PSC) to manage the complex treatment schedules in clinical trials. The tool is currently being used in four trials to create and edit study calendar templates, as well as to manage the calendars of individual patients as treatment schedules change during a study—resulting in more efficient trial coordination and enhanced data reporting.
"On-The-Go" Access and Flexible Calendars
At Kimmel, the PSC represents significant improvements over prior tools that lacked a streamlined user interface and the ability to access and update information remotely. Medical informatics programmer Corey Sagenich observes that coordinators are seeing the biggest payoff as a result of the robust patient scheduling system. "All the coordinators have PDAs, so they can drop in their patients' calendars and can manage them from wherever they are—running between buildings and sites," says Sagenich.
One major challenge addressed by the PSC is that trial milestones frequently change during the course of a trial. Devjani Chatterjee, caBIG« Deployment Lead at Kimmel, explains that, using the PSC, "You can create a calendar for all the specifics related to an individual patient and change that information anytime during the trial. If there are changes because a patient misses a treatment or there are other reasons to reset their calendar, the PSC can make those changes without a lot of effort or disruptions."
More Complete Data Collection and Reporting
The benefits of the PSC also extend beyond trial management. On the back end, data managers with appropriate clearances, such as Sagenich, are able to collect more complete data and provide more detailed reports of an individual's participation in the study. Sagenich explains that many Principal Investigators (PIs) have their own requirements for data reporting, which can be challenging to coordinate. Furthermore, legacy reporting systems are generally limited to single data points. Now, Seganich is able to offer each PI a report that includes all the data that the PSC collects.
"For example, instead of a PI seeing a spreadsheet with how much chemo a patient received, the PSC allows us to create a report that shows when that treatment was delivered, note any time changes, and view all the other activities preceding that treatment during the course of the trial," explains Sagenich. "PSC data reporting is more comprehensive than anything else we have available today."
Additional Features in Development
One additional PSC feature currently in development is the capability to download key dates into Outlook or Google calendars so that appointments and updates can easily be sent to the patients. Looking even further into the future, Chatterjee says that she envisions additional features where the PSC is linked to the billing department that will help code treatments and procedures that take place during the trial.
- Read other articles about PSC: http://cabig.cancer.gov/resources/newsletter/issueVIII/action.asp
- View a demonstration of PSC: https://webmeeting.nih.gov/p42124664/
- Learn about other caBIG« tools for clinical trials management: https://cabig.nci.nih.gov/getting_connected/1_ClinicalTrial_bundle_LOWres.pdf
- Contact the Clinical Trials Management Knowledge Center for advice on adapting or adopting caBIG« tools at your organization: https://cabig-kc.nci.nih.gov/CTMS/KC/index.php/Main_Page