Custom IACUC from Close Collaboration

Introduction

Since 2010, Bad Rabbit has worked alongside faculty at a world-renowned pediatric research center to implement a fully integrated eRA system providing researchers with a true one-stop shop. In this case study, we look at how Bad Rabbit helped the client design and implement an IACUC system to help streamline processes, meet regulations, improve data accuracy, and reduce administrator burden.

Now in its seventh year of operation, the IACUC system is a testament to the benefits of long-term collaboration.

“It’s absolutely amazing what they’ve done with our system.” -IACUC Administrative Director

The Situation

In 2012, Client still had a largely paper-based process for IACUC. Data lived in excel and Filemaker and was shared in emailed PDFs and hand-delivered hard copies. Realizing the need to modernize, Client went looking for an electronic system that would meet the needs of their high-volume, high-performance research community.

When they couldn’t find an existing vendor system that fully met their needs, Client approached Bad Rabbit – already a trusted consulting partner with deep domain knowledge – to design and implement a custom IACUC system within the Huron Portal framework.

Approach

Bad Rabbit met with prospective system users at Client to identify required features and review and protocol build processes. Working collaboratively with the IACUC Office and faculty members, we mapped business processes, and then streamlined them.

Next, we drafted a system framework and design defining how the new IACUC system would support these streamlined processes.

From there, we implemented the custom IACUC system in a two-phase process:

Phase I: Back office implementation

The Client IACUC community had no experience with electronic protocol submission and review systems.  To validate and test initial system usability, the module was rolled out to the IACUC Office users only. This team populated the protocol information, validated the workflows, and provided feedback on issues and insights on how elements would be viewed by faculty.

Phase II: User Implementation

Before the IACUC system rolled out to the full community, a pilot release enabled access for a few “friendly” PIs. Based on their comments and recommendations, we made additional changes to the module. When a full system rollout occurred, these pilot PIs became our IACUC module champions, mentoring other faculty through the learning curve.

This collaborative, iterative approach put functionality into user hands as quickly as possible, and their real-time feedback informed future updates.

The Outcome

The customized IACUC system met Client’s unique needs on time and on budget, and the phased release enabled Bad Rabbit to integrate feedback in real time and fine-tune the system.

In the years since the initial IACUC implementation at Client, Bad Rabbit has continued to consult with leadership and improve the system.

It’s been a very collaborative process…and we never hear, “No, we can’t do that.” It’s, “Sure, we can do that. Let’s figure out how.” - IACUC Analyst

 More recent additions include:

  • A “procedure library” that lets protocol builders select common lab procedures instead of building them from scratch, and

  • An in-system collaborative review interface that makes communication between protocol reviewers easier and clearer.

These tools make for more consistent data, faster review times, and reduced faculty burden.

As technology changes over time, our technical expertise and knowledge of research regulations help us develop more and better tools. And our partnership with Client, now entering its ninth year, means we’re working together to make the system more efficient and reduce administrative burden on an ongoing basis.

Do you have a unique research administration challenge that might benefit from a similar solution? Reach out to Bad Rabbit today to schedule a free consultation.