In Part 1 of this blog series Clinical Quick Reference Guides - When “Quick” Isn’t Fast Enough, I talked about how clinical trial study teams have tried to help research staff manage with quick reference guides, aka "cheat sheets.” I never want to discourage efforts that support research staff as they need help on the frontlines to keep clinical research going.
But the data shows that these cheats sheets really don’t result in dramatic time savings or reduce effort for site staff. So the question is: Why keep doing something that doesn’t work?
In this blog, I want to challenge study teams to think differently about how they can really help research site staff. We’ll look at a new approach to quick reference guides that are more akin to how investigators, study coordinators and CRAs operate in their daily lives. (Spoiler alert: it starts with a smartphone.)
I recently saw a post online by an individual in the clinical research industry asking for tips or methods for learning and retaining protocol content in order to increase efficiency. Tips she got back from the community ranged from:
And then I thought to myself, Are we not in the 21st century?! Admittedly, some of the people who did comment called themselves “dinosaurs” and that their methods were “old school.” However, this young woman asking for guidance is starting off on the wrong foot.
We rely on our smartphones to manage just about everything in our lives. And both information and interactions with our friends, families and colleagues are just a swipe on our phone away. And the great thing is no one has to be particularly tech savvy to benefit from a smartphone.
Research staff getting answers to study specific questions should be as easy as taking out a mobile device from a pocket and asking a question – just like they do to find out the weather forecast or to send a quick message to a friend.
The idea of cheat sheets, quick reference guides and FAQs is to give research staff fast answers to common questions. The limitations are that they are generally on paper, inconveniently stored, and outdated when there are study updates or protocol amendments.
So what if we take this idea of fast answers and make them always available whenever an investigator, study coordinator or CRA has a question. What if the search for answers analyzed only current versions of the protocol and other study documents. And what if it was just in your pocket on your smartphone, where you instinctively go for any other answer.
This is Teckro. It is the study protocol in your pocket. But unlike paper documents, it is also a lot more. It gives a wealth of insight that is particularly useful for study teams and monitors.
There is a lot more that Teckro can do to give monitors and study teams incredible insights into what is happening with their trials. We’ll save that for another day.
For now, I hope I have shown you how we can finally replace cheat sheets, quick reference guides, and lengthy FAQ logs with Teckro. All study questions can now be answered by a digital pocket protocol, making Teckro the ultimate version of a 21st Century quick reference tool.