clinical research

Exploration of EDGE Functionality


Our use of technology and the role it plays in our lives is increasing, both in and out of the workplace, with it even reaching levels of addiction in some instances, case in point where the World Health Organisations now includes a classification of ‘Gaming Disorder’ in their new International Classification of Disease (ICD-11). 

This raises an important question about how effectively we use technology and how that technology benefits us in return, especially within the workplace where most often the technology is provided to us, rather than being chosen by us. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is a big advocate of digital technology and has already expressed a strong desire to unlock its full potential in the NHS, after describing it as the “worlds most frustrating place to work for its IT” at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester. 

Here in the Clinical Informatics Research Unit, our Knowledge Officers spend a lot of time working with hospitals and research organisations to ensure that the systems they use provide them with maximum benefit, helping them to understand the full range of functions available. This includes how they can utilize it in different ways in order to streamline processes and improve operational efficiencies, or in layman’s terms just making it more useful and helpful. 

Every organization uses the system differently, and subsequently every organisation will experience different benefits. This is not to say that the system is different between organisations, it is after all the same system, instead it is down to the heterogeneity of each organisation, notably which other systems are already being used, and how, in this case, EDGE has been implemented. 

Part of what we do as a team, and as a community is to share best practice and we see this in so many different areas, most recently with primary care and pharmacy groups being created, and this cooperative working is not limited to the NHS. Colleagues using EDGE from Canada are just as willing to share their work and are just as receptive to the innovations from the UK because, lets face it, we are all trying to provide the best environment and best infrastructure to provide opportunities for patients to take part in research. 

Something that I have noticed on my travels is that there are sometimes functions in EDGE that people didn’t realise were there, or maybe didn’t see how they could really benefit them. This is where I intend to offer out some advice on different aspects of how the system can be used over the next few months, to ensure that people can make the most of the system and ultimately to make sure that the technology is effective, is benefiting peoples work and ultimately reduces the view that the NHS, or other healthcare providers are ‘frustrating places to work for its IT’. 

In this first instalment, I bring some work from Gaurika Kapoor, Operations Manager at Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility, in which she has created an Entity on EDGE for the purposes of collecting data for their NIHR CRF Annual Reports. This is going to be used to standardise their approach to capturing the information and providing a central place for reporting. 

This has now been published into the Global Library, for all EDGE Admins to download if they so wish and can be found on EDGE by going to LIBRARY > ENTITIES > ADD GLOBAL ENTITY > click ‘CRF’. 

Once you click on it a copy will be downloaded into your library, allowing you to add, edit or delete sections in order to use it for your own data collection requirements. *And just to clarify, changing your version of it will not affect anyone else’s copy. 

There are many other Entities available in this library which have been shared by organisations who believe they would be useful to others, so go and check it out and see if anything you like. On a side note, over time this library has become quite busy, so I will add a ‘to do’ to my list and see if we can clean this up a bit. 

Thanks for reading and keep watching out for the next series, where I will go into more depth around other functions that you could use in EDGE.

Blog post written by Dave Osler,
Head of EDGE Knowledge, CIRU
University of Southampton

An Improved Research Community in Canada enhanced by EDGE

This post has been written by Rebecca Xu, 3CTN- Canada

Successful clinical trials management for the 3CTN Coordinating Centre (CC) and for 3CTN sites requires a flexible system to track trial-related activities. The system has to work well at two levels: for the CC and the sites. The CC needs to have a system to support the identification and communication of portfolio trials to patients and the public. Also, such a system is important for the evaluation of 3CTN against its milestones and deliverables laid out in its business plan. In addition, to demonstrate an increase in recruitment to academic clinical trials in Canada. 3CTN required each participating site to establish an accurate baseline for recruitment. This is used to continuously evaluate the performance and impact of the Network. A flexible system facilitates this evaluation. Among all Canadian cancer centres responding to the initial 3CTN expression of interest, there was a demand for a clinical trial management system (CTMS) to manage the clinical trial projects, track clinical trial activities, staffing, milestones, metrics and finances centrally and in an organized fashion. The optimal solution to track the metrics and research activities is a common platform for all member sites and the 3CTN Coordinating Centre.

3CTN went looking for a CTMS solution. After consultation with a wide variety and number of stakeholders, and following the recommendation of a working group, based on the positive impact in the UK and first Canadian site (i.e. Juravinski Cancer Centre), the EDGE Clinical Research Management System (EDGE) was selected by 3CTN as the preferred system to roll out at the CC and Canadian cancer centres that expressed interest.

The EDGE system, which was developed in the U.K by the University of Southampton and University Hospitals Southampton National Health Service Foundation Trust, was first introduced in 2001. Since then, EDGE has been used by all the U.K. cancer research networks and several other networks established by the Department of Health in the U.K.  EDGE provides an innovative cloud-based clinical management system that empowers administrators and investigators to make the most of their research data. EDGE is specifically designed to give a real-time view of clinical research activity within a single hospital or across various research networks.
The CC formally adopted EDGE in September 2014, with the first goal being the tracking of the portfolio. The CC EDGE hosts a comprehensive listing of all 3CTN-endorsed cancer clinical trials. It allows management of the portfolio, including trial application, and timeline tracking of the review and approval process in a clear, efficient and measurable system. In addition to portfolio tracking, the CC can process all data in EDGE and extract the aggregate and site efficiency metrics with ease. It provides a real time and accurate picture of the high impact academic clinical trials across Canada. The national benchmarking data has also proven to be useful to facilitate ongoing process improvement.

EDGE provides an efficient way to collect and process the data without imposing an excessive burden to 3CTN sites. This common platform limits duplication of data entry and ensures ease of data transfer between 3CTN member sites and the CC. For sites that had already adopted a different CTMS prior to 3CTN, EDGE provides portal capability and flexibility to take-in data from the various systems used by sites.
Since the adoption of EDGE by 3CTN, the CC has developed comprehensive implementation supports. These supports include: live demonstrations of the system, project planning, training and first line support to facilitate the roll-out to interested cancer centres. Regional super users were hired to assist with implementation and to ensure sites use EDGE effectively. These super users are situated throughout the Network, and collaborate with the CC to promote best practices, and to determine how EDGE can best be used to benefit all sites across the country.

At the site level, most sites using EDGE are tracking recruitment. Many sites are starting to use EDGE to track regulatory processes and finances for their active recruiting trials, as well as legacy data. The EDGE users are especially pleased with the powerful reporting capabilities of EDGE, which allows them to follow trends in research activities over time. Prior to the implementation of EDGE, sites had numerous files, over a number of file directories to keep track of the progress of trial activation, ethics submissions, contract processes, budgets, and trial metrics (screening and accrual reports).  From a logistics standpoint, having one place to access all clinical trial information is very efficient, and ultimately improves patient care as it enables everyone to use the most up to date documents and information. All members of the patient care team are able to see the progress of a trial from delivery of the protocol to trial activation, and the screening and accrual of patients.  “EDGE provides us with a wealth of knowledge to know which trials are accruing and which are not and why not” states Richard McClelland from London Regional Cancer Centre. Being a network-customized and web-based application, EDGE has led to better communication and collaboration within the cancer clinical trial community, and across the country.

As a result of CC and site level implementation, the EDGE system is helping to improve the conduct of cancer clinical trials across Canada. It enables reliable and real-time measurement of trial metrics and improves the ability of sites and the CC to analyze and use trial data to advantage which should lead to more efficient activity across the Network.

Source of article from: Canadian Cancer Clinical Trial Network 3CTN Pulse Newsletter February 2017 

EDGE at the R&D Forum

EDGE at the R&D forum 2016

We took a shining role as Premier Sponsor at this year’s R&D Forum with our brand appearing in the delegate guides, onscreen adverts and at the front of the conference room throughout the 2 day event. If that wasn’t enough we also had a giant inflatable Luna pod used as our exhibition structure, which definitely caught the eye of every conference attendee. It was safe to say EDGE was everywhere, and what a success it was!

The event took place at the Holiday Inn, Stradford-upon-Avon (23rd-24th May) and was for those involved in leading, supporting, managing and delivering research. With over 500 people attending each year we were very excited to be part of such a big National event. On registration to the forum each attendee received an EDGE notebook and stylus pen ready for the day. With our stand in prime position inside the main conference room it meant we could not be missed (especially with our gleaming pod!) The Luna pod not only worked as a great attraction but allowed us to house two computer screens with tables and chairs. This worked fantastically when showing visitors demos of the EDGE system.

Each person who came to our stand was keen to take some of our fabulous freebies which included EDGE branded pens, mints, mugs and of course the EDGE branded bag (also known as the #swagbag on Twitter!) For the majority of the two days all five members of the EDGE Knowledge team were completely run off their feet with demoing, taking photos, videoing, answering EDGE related questions and handing out our merchandise.

The networking continued at the Gala dinner which we were also the sponsors of. You could find our EDGE logo presented on the dinner tickets as well as on the food menus which was another great promotional aspect for us. As sponsor we provided each table with some EDGE branded mint chocolates which came out with the tea and coffee (always a good way to finish any dinner!)

At the end of day two the team came away feeling positive and had each enjoyed their time at the forum. There were fantastic comments said about EDGE and the feedback received over the two days was discussed on return to the office. Overall, it was a real success and we look forward to next year!