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REDCAP software available for data capture

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This month, the Biomedical Health Informatics and Biostatistics Design and Analysis teams launch REDCap (or Research Electronic Data Capture), a secure web application designed exclusively to support data capture for research.

REDCap is available to UMN research teams at no costs, and this tool is fully supported by the Biostatistics Design and Analysis Center (BDAC) at CTSI. The BDAC team now offers regular introduction sessions to help investigators determine if this is the right tool for a particular study. 

Contact Sue Lowry for more information or visit the UMN REDCap website learn more.

CTSI Connect changes format

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Since its inception in January, the CTSI Connect newsletter was an opportunity for staff to keep each other informed of new developments, progress and changes.

With the announcement of the CTSA in June, and the implementation of the CTR Portal in August, we saw the need for quick updates and a steady information stream rather than in a monthly email.

We bring you CTSI Connect for staff updates and CTSI News for campus outreach.

The new format allows for comments, a better search function and daily posts.

While CTSI staff are welcome to contribute items at any time, we ask you to help keep content fresh with the following monthly news cycle:

Week 1: Biomedical Health Informatics (BMI); Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT); CTSI Connects With (featuring a staff member).

Week 2: Clinical Translational Research Services (CTRS) function updates to include:

    ~ Clinical Research Implementation Services (CRIS)
    ~ Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC)
    ~ Regulatory Knowledge & Support
    ~ Research Project Managers
    ~ Research Subject Advocate

Week 3: Office of Community Engagement for Health (OCEH) and Education, Training and Career Development (EdTRCD)

Week 4: Director's Message; Evaluation & Monitoring (eTeam)
Ongoing: Research news

Quality survey conducted

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Quality Assurance Coordinator Jennifer Maas recently compiled survey results that asked clinical staff: "If I could make one quality improvement, it would be...."

Participants cited the need for an improved scheduling system, more privacy for exam rooms, increased training, and a better clinic layout to maximize efficiency.

Comments and responses include:
"I would change the scheduling system by putting together a group of users (coordinators, administrative assistants, nurses) to talk with programmers about the most troublesome features."

Response: The CTR Portal was launched Aug. 1 and will continue to be improved through user input and testing. Contact Trung Ngo if you have suggestions or ideas.

"I would change how some of our research coordinators approach blood draws and IV placements...Training is needed so that all staff can perform blood draws and place lines."

Response: A training program is in the process of being developed and will be provided to all coordinators who require phlebotomy and IV training.

In seeing patients our staff "spend way too much of their day walking" back and forth "to the ends of the hall to accomplish tasks. We need to move multiple times per day between the urine processing room, exam rooms, lab, blood draw room and offices at 717 Delaware. The layout of the suite is not conducive to work flow."

Response: We appreciate and understand that employees are required to walk back and forth from offices to clinics due to the current layout and that improving this would help increase the efficiency of the visits. Unfortunately, there are no plans at this time for layout changes at 717.

"There is not a single exam room with a privacy curtain. We conduct physical exams for which patients need to change into gowns and EKGs for which patients are bare-chested. If the door were inadvertently opened while an EKG was being conducted, the patient would be exposed to anyone who happened to be at the door or in the hallway. I feel strongly that this is a violation of the patient's right to privacy."

Response: CTSI has privacy curtains available for use. Please notify Jennifer Maas or Karen Johnson, operations manager who can work with investigators to get curtains installed.

EdTRCD adds scholars

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The CTSI KL2 Scholars Program supports new clinical and translational research investigators through a three-year mentored training program. The Education, Training and Career Development (EdTRCD) recently announced four new recipients. Two of the scholars have joined the Program this fall and the other two will begin in March 2012. Another RFA will be released soon with a due date around December. Scholars selected during the Second RFA cycle include:
  • Tetyana Shippee, PhD - Health Policy and Management
  • Cari Clark, ScD, MPH - Medicine
  • Terrence Adam, MD, PhD -- Pharmacy Care and Health Systems (March 2012)
  • Silvia Mangia, PhD - Radiology/CMRR (March 2012)
Scholars selected during the first RFA cycle include:
  • Maneesh Bhargava, MD - Medicine
  • Samir Khariwala, MD - Otolaryngology
  • Sarah Cusick, PhD - Pediatrics
Scholars continuing on the KL2 until February 2012 from a previous K12 program include:
  • Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD - Neurosurgery
  • Jason Baker, MD, MS - Medicine - Infectious Disease
The program offers:
  • 75% salary support, up to $100,000 (inclusive of fringe benefits) for protected time for clinical/translational research career development
  • $25,000 per year for technical assistance or supplies to assist in obtaining data
  • $2,500 per year for primary mentor
  • Travel funds of $1,000 per year
Just completing our second RFA cycle the KL2 Scholar Program radiates a palpable energy. The KL2 roster is made up of outstanding junior faculty scholars from a diversity of disciplines at the AHC. The program spans the full spectrum of the clinical and translational research enterprise, including clinical health research. "We look forward to building a strong scholar community in the upcoming year," said Program Director Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS. For more information contact Michelle Lamere, MPA, EdTRCD Program coordinator.

Input sought to formulate CTSI response to 'Common Rule'

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The Department of Health and Human Services is considering significant changes to the Common Rule regarding human subjects protections. The proposed changes are open for public comment.

By the end of October, Dr. Gordon Macfarlane will compile and submit a CTSI response to the proposed changes. Your informal perspectives or formal commentary is welcomed and appreciated.

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