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The Trial Innovation Network has established an infrastructure for single IRB review in response to federal policies. The Network’s single IRB (sIRBs) have successfully supported over 70 multisite studies via more than 800 reliance arrangements. This has generated several lessons learned that can benefit the national clinical research enterprise, as we work to improve the conduct of clinical trials. These lessons include distinguishing the roles of the single IRB from institutional Human Research Protections programs, establishing a consistent sIRB review model, standardizing collection of local context and supplemental, study-specific information, and educating and empowering lead study teams to support their sites.
Rapid whole genome sequencing (rapid WGS) is a powerful diagnostic tool that is becoming increasingly practical for widespread clinical use. However, protocols for its use are challenging to implement. A significant obstacle to clinical adoption is that laboratory certification requires an initial research development phase, which is constrained by regulations from returning results. Regulations preventing return of results have ethical implications in cases which might impact patient outcomes. Here, we describe our experience with the development of a rapid WGS research protocol, that balanced the requirements for laboratory-validated test development with the ethical needs of clinically relevant return of results.
Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
Conservation resources are limited, yet an increasing number of species are under threat. Assessing species for their conservation needs is, therefore, a vital first step in identifying and prioritizing species for both ex situ and in situ conservation actions. Using a transparent, logical and objective method, the Conservation Needs Assessment process developed by Amphibian Ark uses current knowledge of species in the wild to determine those with the most pressing conservation needs, and provides a foundation for the development of holistic conservation action plans that combine in situ and ex situ actions as appropriate. These assessments allow us to maximize the impact of limited conservation resources by identifying which measures could best serve those species requiring help. The Conservation Needs Assessment complements the IUCN Red List assessment, and together they provide a more holistic guide to conservation priorities and actions. Conservation Needs Assessments generate national prioritized lists of species recommended for conservation action. These can subsequently be used to assist in the development of species recovery plans and national action plans, or to inform national conservation priorities better. Additional tools that will evaluate the recommendations for ex situ rescues, to determine the best candidates for conservation breeding programmes, are currently under development.
We assessed the impact of a reflex urine culture protocol, an intervention aimed to reduce unnecessary urine culturing, in intensive care units at a tertiary care hospital. Significant decreases in urine culturing rates and reported rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infection followed implementation of the protocol.
To determine whether antimicrobial (AM) courses ordered with an antimicrobial computer decision support system (CDSS) were more likely to be appropriate than courses ordered without the CDSS.
Retrospective cohort study. Blinded expert reviewers judged whether AM courses were appropriate, considering drug selection, route, dose, and duration.
A 279-bed university-affiliated Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital.
A 500-patient random sample of inpatients who received a therapeutic AM course between October 2007 and September 2008.
An optional CDSS, available at the point of order entry in the VA computerized patient record system.
CDSS courses were significantly more likely to be appropriate (111/254, 44%) compared with non-CDSS courses (81/246, 33%, P = .013). Courses were more likely to be appropriate when the initial provider diagnosis of the condition being treated was correct (168/273, 62%) than when it was incorrect, uncertain, or a sign or symptom rather than a disease (24/227, 11%, P< .001). In multivariable analysis, CDSS-ordered courses were more likely to be appropriate than non-CDSS-ordered courses (odds ratio [OR], 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–2.98). Courses were also more likely to be judged appropriate when the initial provider diagnosis of the condition being treated was correct than when it was incorrect, uncertain, or a sign or symptom rather than a disease (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.4-9.0).
Use of the CDSS was associated with more appropriate AM use. To achieve greater improvements, strategies are needed to improve provider diagnoses of syndromes that are infectious or possibly infectious.