System Integrations Make Life Easier

Electronic research administration systems have made life easier, but many institutions are still working with systems that don’t talk to each other. Without integrations, research administrators often must track information in disparate systems, conduct double data entry, and communicate outside of the system, leading to excess work and potential miscommunications. Integrations help maintain consistent data and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

In this case study, we look at the benefits of implementing bidirectional integrations between systems, including:

  • Consistent data across systems

  • Easier and more accurate reporting

  • Improved compliance

  • Reduced faculty burden

The Situation

Our client, one of the leading pediatric research institutions in the world, uses a Huron CLICK platform consisting of nine customized modules including COI, Agreements, Grants, and IRB.

Early on in our partnership, Bad Rabbit recognized the value and need for automated data sharing between solutions. Bidirectional system integrations have significantly reduced administrative burden, making it possible for a COI back office of three people to oversee disclosures from over 10,000 individuals.


The Approach

Starting with core reference data

When we first began working with this client, we recommended establishing a consistent set of core reference data for individual and organizational records across all modules. It ensures that a person or organization referenced in one system is the same unique entity in another. In this case, person and organization records are created and maintained in Grants, and updates are immediately shared with the other modules.

This approach enables any activity related to an individual captured by one system (a COI disclosure update) to be automatically related to the individual in other relevant systems (such as Grants or IRB).

Integrations reduce burden while ensuring compliance

In another example, integration points between Agreements and COI ensure that Faculty Consulting Agreements (FCA) are managed in both systems. When a faculty member agrees to consult with an outside institution, they access the Agreements portal to complete and submit an FCA. From there:

  • The system automatically creates a matching entry in the COI portal and updates the faculty member’s annual disclosure agreement

  • The system automatically generates a notification for the COI back office to review the FCA

Similarly, an integration with Open Payments automatically updates related COI disclosures and pings the COI office to review new entries, ensuring compliance without the need for cumbersome communication or extraneous data entry.

Integrations provide needed checks and balances

Bidirectional integrations within an eRA system ensure regulations are met. For example, when a team member is added to an IRB study, the system automatically creates a research-based disclosure within eCOI and causes a “hard stop” in the IRB. The IRB review process won’t move forward with the protocol until the research disclosure is approved within COI. This all happens automatically, so nothing is missed, eliminating risk of non-compliance.

Integration points within the Grants system work similarly. If somebody is denoted as “key personnel”—a significant contributor for a funding proposal—the system automatically generates a COI research-based disclosure for review. The data is pushed from the Grants system into COI, providing needed checks and balances and maintaining consistent data system-wide.


The Outcome

The details of system integration can seem complicated, but the concept is simple: integration makes software systems communicate and share common information. Integrations built for this client are specific to Huron CLICK, but Bad Rabbit’s RA system experts can address your integration needs whatever eRA platform you use.

If you’d like to eliminate non-compliance risk, get rid of manual back and forth, and streamline cumbersome processes, reach out to Bad Rabbit today.