Trying to summarise the changes that have occurred during the past 12 months within the Clinical Research Networks with which we work so closely is too big a task for one evenings work and I’d only be scratching the surface which wouldn’t really do it justice. Therefore I’m going to concentrate on an aspect that has almost come as an unintended side effect.
The procurement and implementation of LPMS systems across England has been challenging, time consuming and to some very frustrating. To others the provision of a system to manage their research portfolio on has been a blessing, allowing them to reduce the number of onerous spread sheets that contain silos of information and combine this all into one place.
This implementation of a single system across an entire network geography has created an opportunity for people to come together and discuss the issues they are having with their research management. R&D departments especially are sharing more and more advice and support with each other and through this are helping create new standards and ways of working that will drive forward research management. These communications networks that have formed amongst research staff haven’t been forced, they haven’t been the result of a new policy or countrywide attempt to make people communicate more. They have come as a result of people willing to share their hard work with others, and people willing to pick up the phone and ask how someone else has done it.
There is still a long way to go and we really have only skimmed the surface of what can be achieved via collaborative working like we have seen, but what we have seen so far has been more than anyone expected. Who’d have thought databases could have such a social effect on people!
By Dave Osler (EDGE Knowledge Officer)