October 13, 2022
How Teckro Is Revolutionizing My Day Job
Guest blog: Clinical research coordinator Grayson Scott explains how Teckro is easing the pressures on his daily working life
Site Supervisor at Centricity ResearchGuest
As a clinical research coordinator (CRC) mainly in oncology, and a site supervisor at Centricity Research, my day job can be quite demanding, to put it mildly. Being a CRC is a “boots-on-the-ground” position. As a site supervisor, I also oversee a clinic that has eight CRCs and a variety of studies. As you can imagine, there is a breadth of technology in use for each study which can be a bit overwhelming and cause extra work! For independently owned research sites, this can be extra stressful.
I call this the “trickle-down” effect. While sponsors often have the best of intentions, by the time the effect of newly implemented technology gets down to the CRC, it can actually be harder to conduct tasks when the goal is always to make them simpler. To give an example with remote monitoring visits, a CRC must take documents that may be kept on paper at the site and redact patient health information before sending them electronically. It ends up being a lot of work – think manual page-by-page searching in the documents – despite the electronic systems that are supposed to be helping.
Instant Study Content, Even with Patients
All in all, it's rather ironic that the technology that is meant to be improving workloads and saving time is more likely to be a hindrance. It doesn’t help that common sense doesn’t necessarily prevail when it comes to the technology provided. We were once forbidden from recording patient data on paper because the eDiary system was mandatory – even though it wasn’t functioning correctly. That’s just one anecdote among many I could recount demonstrating the inconsistencies and burdens site staff can experience when it comes to carrying out their daily duties.
This is where I believe that Teckro really does make a difference. Teckro provides instant access to any of the essential study documents in your hand – the key things needed by a coordinator day to day, like inclusion and exclusion criteria.
At Centricity we are in a “hybrid mode” so to speak. We utilize electronic regulatory processes, but paper sources. This means that all the essential documents required to conduct clinical research trials are stored electronically, but the actual patient-related data is collected mostly on paper. We are eventually moving to electronic source, but right now you’d have to print off an informed consent form if you needed it.
With our essential documents (such as the study protocol) being stored electronically, Teckro makes it a breeze to review these documents. Previously, if a CRC needed to review prohibited concomitant medications, for example, they’d have to use their laptop, log in to our eRegulatory portal, and look for the protocol. With Teckro, you can just pull your phone out and search prohibited concomitant medications in the app – right there with the patient in the room. So easy!
Opening New Lines of Communication
Not only does Teckro make my day job much easier, it also opens lines of communication between sites and sponsors. It’s rare that I would speak to a sponsor as a coordinator, but it is imperative that sponsors get site feedback. Teckro allows sites to communicate in a way that they previously wouldn't have been able to, meaning sponsors can become aware of the real issues sites are having. Teckro not only facilitates this avenue of communication, but also makes it easier to communicate on-the-job.
Another advantage is the ability to negate multiple logins and URLs. As a coordinator in oncology, there are on average seven to 10 different online portals being used per study. As a coordinator, you could see 40 to 50 studies at one time – the number of URLs, passwords and usernames can be quite overwhelming. So, it’s very useful that Teckro allows us to access all content for all studies on Teckro, in one place.
Revolutionizing the Sponsor/Site Relationship
Looking to the future, I see both regulatory and source going completely electronic in the next five to 10 years. It’s been a bit of a challenge at times so far at Centricity as we’ve gone from completely paper based – so very old school – to the cutting edge of technology. This is a huge change for an independent site.
As an independent clinical research institute and network, we must do all of the leg work ourselves. If we need to implement a new piece of technology, then it is up to our own staff to learn how to use it and implement it properly. Getting the ball rolling with all this technology can be tricky, and sponsors need to work closely with sites to help build awareness and collect feedback, ensuring the solutions are helping and not hindering sites.
I am positive that Teckro can help smooth the way when it comes to not only ensuring staff have instant, convenient access to the protocol to run trials more efficiently, but also by enabling better site/sponsor relationships through seamless communication.
Site Supervisor at Centricity ResearchGuest
Grayson is a Teckro user with experience as an oncology clinical research coordinator and multi-specialty, multi-site supervisor overseeing studies of all kinds.