In our previous blog post we discussed the tradeoffs made between software solutions offering turnkey, rapid startup models, and those with deeper functionality and high levels of configurability. In this post however, we will be examining how Datatrak has departed from expectations and set new industry standards with a bit of innovative software design. Specifically, how we’ve brought the two together in the context of our CTMS.
When we set upon the task of building a new CTMS to meet unaddressed industry needs, we began first by consulting with a diverse set of experienced CTMS users to get a bearing on where they felt available software solutions were falling short. At the very top of their list of grievances was how inflexible existing CTMS platforms were. They found that even in the case where small and simple modifications were needed, clinical operations personnel had to interact with a technical team or, more commonly, contract with the vendor to complete the extensive process. This is a perfect example of a system that, while possessing the ability to be configured, was not built from the bottom up as a configurable platform.
The second issue we encountered most frequently was startup time, training, and their associated costs. The average CTMS has a very lengthy lead time before the environment is ready for deployment to active users. When these timelines are affecting a client’s ability to conduct trials, this time becomes exceedingly costly. So it was these two asks that established the pillars of our design efforts in building a modern CTMS platform.
Datatrak’s CTMS was built, from the beginning, with the expressed intent of having the system configured, tested, adjusted, and grown by the users who conduct their daily work in it. Among the first features we designed were a core set of simple user interface tools, drag and drop functionality, etc. that enable non-technical users to modify essentially any data collection area of the system. The user friendly nature of these utilities makes two important things possible.
First of all, the clinical operations personnel who best know what updates would be beneficial to their own workflow processes are able to make the changes to the environment themselves. This means they can do away with the cumbersome process of communicating their needs to third parties who are unfamiliar with the accepted best practices and workflows used within the CTMS. Secondly, because this system is built to be administered by non-technical users, this means that there is nothing precluding the clinical operations personnel themselves being system administrators. As a result our CTMS is well suited for use by both large clients with many potential users and administrators, as well as by much smaller teams managing fewer or smaller trials. It really is a solution meant to fit the CTMS needs of the entire industry.
On the topic of turnkey startup, our response to this request grew naturally from the simple configurability of our system. By collecting the requirements and the details of the common business processes from our focus group, we established a baseline setup of the system that would work for a wide cross-section of clients. As a cloud based software company we can activate a CTMS for a new client with a click of a button. There is no delay, and it arrives in a fully functional format with no restrictions on their ability to modify it at any time in the future.
So what does the combination of these qualities mean for our users? The fact that the system can be used immediately, out of the box, means that users are able to get into their CTMS and begin evaluating, how this powerful new software system will best fit into their own specific business processes. If there are parts of the system that a client is uninterested in using for the time being, these can be conveniently turned off as needed. The system can be used to manage just a single trial at the outset without a tremendous investment of time or effort. It means that our users can begin to reap their ROI immediately and at their own pace.
Now while, the turnkey element of the CTMS and the wealth of best practices that we can provide offer convenience and savings up front when first bringing this software in house, it is the configurable quality of the platform that really delivers long term value in a way that is not seen in other CTMS solutions. It means that while you may begin your journey using the default setup of our system, or with configurations recommended by our team, like a favorite pair of gloves, in time this CTMS can be shaped into a solution that is uniquely your own. As you discover new data points that you’d like to report on across sites, personnel, trials, etc. or as you develop more complete business workflows, the application is capable of changing along with your needs over time. Combine this with a regular release cycle introducing powerful new features, and you can rest assured that your organization is working on a platform that is agile enough to respond to the always-changing landscape of clinical development.
This really captures what we are trying to do here at Datatrak: building powerful, agile solutions, that addresses current technological problems in the clinical development space and anticipates the needs of the future. Ultimately we are always aiming to improve the efficiency and drive down the cost of conducting and managing clinical trials, and it is only by listening carefully to the needs of our users that we are able to make this possible.
Want to learn more about our CTMS Solution?
In this CTMS webinar, we discuss the suite of functionality that supports monitoring activities in your studies. From the design of trip reports to the planning of visit schedules, and completion of site visits, our CTMS provides a centralized, cloud-based solution to manage this process from start to finish.