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U South Florida Automates Processes for Human Subject Research

The University of South Florida (USF) will use Click Commerce's eResearch Portal to automate Institutional Review Board (IRB) processes for human subject research. USF will streamline and strengthen IRB processes across the institution's multiple research communities in the first of a series of research automation initiatives to be rolled out over the next two and a half years. The goal is to deliver a seamless e-research administration environment encompassing a wide range of research funding and compliance processes by 2011.

IRBs monitor the safe and ethical conduct of medical and behavioral research involving human participants. Click Commerce eResearch Portal allows USF to automate IRB workflow processes to shorten turnaround times, eliminate routine errors and omissions, enhance security, and alert researchers of approaching deadlines. USF will be able to continue using its own forms and pre-review steps. Click has a configurable, web-based submissions system for IRB applications that allows administrators to distribute data among research teams throughout the institution.

"We were looking for an automated system that would not only meet our immediate need to streamline and enhance our IRB processes, but would also be capable of expansion over time," said Karen Holbrook, VP for research and innovation at USF. "We envision a comprehensive e-research environment enabling secure collaboration, compliance readiness, and administrative visibility across the research enterprise, including areas such as clinical trials participant tracking, bio- and radiation safety oversight, and animal studies. Tightly integrating USF's processes in all these areas with a centralized automation platform and a common interface will simplify the business of research and give us the flexibility of adding new functionality going forward."

Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, NC and Washington University in St. Louis have also used eResearch Portal.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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