Here at the Anschutz Medical Campus, we are in the business of answering important research questions in order to improve human health. One of the ways our physicians and scientists do this is through research studies that involve human participants who volunteer to make the studies possible.
Sounds simple, right? But how do members of the general public find out about the many studies and trials that are taking place at Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital or in other clinics across campus? The answer is a new website called Research Studies or https://researchstudies.cuanschutz.edu.
‘This is a wonderful way in which we can provide useful and up-to-date information to patients regarding clinical trial opportunities.’
– Tom Flaig, MD, interim vice chancellor for research
“This is a wonderful way in which we can provide useful and up-to-date information to patients regarding clinical trial opportunities,” says interim Vice Chancellor for Research Tom Flaig, MD. “Patients can search for trials relevant to their personal circumstances among the hundreds of clinical trial opportunities available locally.”
The new website offers a list of clinical trials and research studies by category, in addition to a search tool. Study pages display available data such as the primary objective, the name of the Principal Investigator and eligibility information. All pages include a link for potential participants to submit their contact information that is sent to the study team for determination of eligibility. Once a study has met its required number of participants, it will automatically be taken off the website.
The website represents the first time on our campus that a single tool can pull timely, accurate and comprehensive information on studies that are looking to recruit participants. All of the information on the studies is pulled from the clinical trial management system called OnCore. The site also pulls information on investigators from a School of Medicine database.
“With the implementation of OnCore, our robust clinical trials management system, we now have a reliable “source of truth” on available clinical trial opportunities,” Dr. Flaig says. “The site utilizes this information and is updated regularly, providing a very useful platform to share information with potential study participants.”
A research nurse collects blood samples from a participant in a research study taking place in the CCTSI's inpatient Clinical and Translational Research Center.
The new website for research studies was created through a partnership between the University Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the School of Medicine. Associate Vice Chancellor of Regulatory Compliance Alison Lakin, RN, LLB, LLM, PhD took the lead in the site’s development.
Key to creating Research Studies was a process of engaging with the public. “We worked with the community engagement core of the CCTSI to develop the site in a way that is user-friendly and accessible to the community,” Dr. Lakin says. Through focus groups with community members, Lakin and her team learned that the public doesn’t care about the difference between clinical research and basic science, they just care about the concept of research studies—hence the name of the site. She also noted that not everything listed is a clinical trial. Investigators are looking for healthy people in addition to those with medical conditions.
The site will continue to evolve as a robust recruitment and communication tool. In the next phase of the project, researchers will be able to personalize the site with their recruitment efforts. And in a phase after that, research teams can use the website to communicate with those who have expressed an interest in a particular study.
“We are hoping people will see the important research that is being done on this campus, are excited and will want to participate,” Dr. Lakin says.
For more information about the website or how to use it, contact ResearchStudies@cuanschutz.edu.
Guest contributor: Wendy Meyer, Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute