Streamlined Processes and Higher Data Quality through Integration

SUMMARY

Ochsner Health System turned to Bad Rabbit to manage the integration of a new clinical research management system (CRMS) and an in-house IRB system, leading to a simpler and more efficient process for creating, updating, and tracking a common set of research trials within two separate systems.

THE SITUATION

Ochsner Health Systems is southeast Louisiana’s largest nonprofit, academic, multispecialty healthcare delivery system, managing an ongoing portfolio of more than 350 clinical research projects.

In 2016, Ochsner was implementing a new OnCore CRMS (a market-leading clinical research management system). Some of the information necessary for creating and conducting research studies in OnCore was also stored in Ochsner’s in-house IRB system, but there was no tool linking the two, meaning administrative staff had to conduct double data entry. For example, when a new research study was created or modified, users had to enter the data twice - once in the IRB system and then again in the CRMS system. 

Research teams are already stretched thin; double data entry increased an already-heavy workload, and created the potential for data entry mistakes and missed work steps.

Ochsner sought Bad Rabbit’s RA systems expertise to create a system-to-system integration between the new OnCore CRMS and their internal IRB system, making it simpler and more efficient to enter compliance information through a single interface.

THE APPROACH

Bad Rabbit took a two-phase approach to build a user-friendly tool that eliminated the need for double data entry and decreased workload for busy administrative staff.

Phase 1: Create behind-the-scenes functionality, “OnCore Connector,” to automatically transmit data from in-house IRB system to OnCore, so RAs can enter information once and access it from both systems.

Phase 2: Enhancements to make the OnCore Connector more robust, with improved error-handling, and add an administrative interface with increased client control.

Through both phases, Bad Rabbit followed a proven development process:

Prototype early and often. In phase one, Bad Rabbit quickly built a working prototype of the integration, focusing effort on user priorities and driving better collaboration with Ochsner.

Listen carefully to feedback. Bad Rabbit worked with Ochsner at every stage to ensure practical and resource-efficient solution. Splitting the project into two phases accommodated Ochsner’s in-house release and training schedules, and left space for improvements informed by client feedback.

Conduct real-world testing. With a working prototype in hand, Ochsner system users were able to raise questions and suggest additional improvements to the integration.

Embrace the simple solution. Bad Rabbit prioritizes developing high-value, cost-efficient tools that meet client needs without extraneous steps or unnecessary features.

The OnCore integration project was completed in less time than originally estimated, coming in under budget and allowing Ochsner RAs to focus on their research.

THE OUTCOME

The integration is expected to save approximately 1,500 hours of research administrator staff labor per year, equating to over $50,000 in savings.

System users report greater ease of use, saying, “It’s so easy!” and “there are less things I have to remember to do.” Users especially love having the ability to control the functionality of the integration. Change is a constant; research administrators need flexible tools that can adapt to future needs. Ochsner leadership is excited about the results, and further integrations are planned moving forward.