Integrated invoicing is a powerful mechanism for incentivising site participation. It also eliminates extraneous trial management activities. What is it and how does it work? This article takes a closer look at integrated invoicing and how it can work for you.
Sites deserve to be paid for completed study activities in a timely manner. Payment milestones such as examination completion, lab result analysis, subject visits are known in advance and documented in the master fee schedule for the study or site. Since these billing milestones are well-defined, the study can be configured to automate the creation and submission of site invoices. This eliminates paperwork for the sites, ensures accuracy, relieves study managers of invoice verification activity and speeds payment.
VISION™’s integrated invoicing functionality allows configuration of invoice line items in a flexible and powerful manner. Examples include:
- Subject enrollment
- Study visit completion
- Physical exam completion
- Lab samples drawn and sent to lab
Invoice line item generation can be tied to field completion, a form’s state (e.g., Reviewed or Finalized), the states of a set of related forms, or a combination of the above. Sites across a study are rarely run the same, and it is not uncommon to see a variation in payment schedules across sites. VISION™ allows the invoiced amount for each line item to be configured for each individual site if desired.
It’s common practice to configure the EDC so that the investigator sign off on each invoice activates submission. This serves as an indication that the investigator has reviewed and approved each invoice. Did you know that VISION™ can also be configured so that the invoice can be annotated when payment has been made? Study monitors and project managers can easily see the real-time status of all invoices using VISION™’s reporting tool.
Streamline trail administration activities by using this powerful feature! Sponsors/CROs who don’t take advantage of integrated invoicing often tell us they wish they had used it.
Learn more about integrated invoicing in this International Animal Health Journal article.
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This morning, Prelude attended a meeting on the new reality of remote audits and inspections. In the past, remote auditing of sites was viewed as a nice capability. As many in the industry are now learning, remote capabilities are now a necessity. Sites that collect data on paper will need to scan all their documents into digital formats as fast as possible. This process can present many issues including legibility, legality, and availability of documents (documents located in locked down facilities will be unavailable for the foreseeable future).
Auditors understand the struggles for documentation at this time, and they will be giving sites more lead time as well as more time for the actual inspections. However, a simple increase in time permitted for an audit is not a sustainable solution. This method is merely a Band-Aid. Recording studies on paper is no longer sustainable. The time to switch to a digital platform is now. Let Prelude’s team of certified data managers help you transition to a more efficient and more effective eCRF database. We are working with companies around the world to meet industry standards and deadlines to ensure a brighter future for all.
Have you ever worried about how a mid-study update to calculations or constraints might be implemented without affecting any previously entered data? Hopefully, this overview of batch edit checks will give you a good idea what options are available to you when considering mid-study updates. The batch edit check is a tool that your Prelude Project Manager (PM) in their administrator role utilizes in order to apply an updated edit check to all existing subjects so that you won’t have to waste time manually rendering each and every affected form.
Behind the scenes:
1. At the Project level, the administrator navigates to the Batch Edit Checks form.
2. The administrator has the option to run a past batch or start a new one.
3. If starting a new one, they set up the parameters. These include:
a. Choose either Subject or Site level forms.
b. Select whether or not to process new forms (i.e., blank forms). Note: Selecting this option will cause all constraints to fire for new forms, meaning they cannot be signed off on until the errors are resolved. Typically, this option is left blank so only In-Work forms are rendered.
c. Choose specific forms to be rendered or allow the system to process all forms. Note: The batch will run much faster if the PM knows which specific forms need to have their calculations and constraints processed.
4. Once a batch has been run, the administrator can:
a. Reset the form
b. Clear the form
c. Delete and renumber the forms
d. Lock the form
That’s it! Sit back and relax in the knowledge that VISION has got your data’s back (so to speak).
Streamline data-capture by using Vision’s built-in documents manager. You can keep all of your data and communications in one, easy-to-navigate place. Not only will assigned users have instant access to communications and updates, but you will be able to track who has viewed or edited what. No more unresponsive team members claiming, “No, I didn’t see that last update!” when really, they just forgot to respond to it (you know who you are).
Simply navigate to the applicable patient or site where you intend to upload a file or attach a note. Typically, the last or second-to-last form under each patient and site is labelled Notes/Comments/Errors or Comments/Errors. Under this file group will be a notes form. This can be used to append documents like medical histories or previous labs results to a specific patient or signed forms to a specific site. Team members can also add short comments as necessary throughout the study. Prelude offers this form group as part of every contract, but it can also be customized to suit your unique study’s needs.
There is also a form where users can upload transcribed CRF’s, making it easier than ever for sites to keep a thorough record of all essential documentation for their subjects. This basic form includes a place to record the date and time uploaded, the name of the electronic version of the form where the data was transcribed, as well as a link to that form within the system, the reason for transcription, and checkbox where the monitor can indicate that they reviewed the transcription. But don’t forget: this form can be customized to include any extra details your study requires.
Ask your Prelude Project Manager about even more ways to tailor your study’s forms to meet all your document management needs!
The importance of testing all aspects and features of a study before Go-Live cannot be over-emphasized. That being said, testing can be a very messy process. If not undertaken with a great deal of planning and documentation, the whole process of testing a study can be rendered not only ineffective but counterproductive. In comes User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to the rescue!
First, you might ask, what is UAT and how is it different from other forms of testing? Think of UAT as a dress rehearsal before a play. The actors all know their lines, the lighting director knows all their queues, and the sets have all been built and tested for safety. But you need to see it all together before you fill the seats with spectators. What if those perfectly built sets don’t line up with the spotlights or what if the bulky costumes get in the way of the actors’ performances? All the parts are there and accounted for, but the picture as a whole has yet to be validated.
The study-build process is similar. After each form has been tested separately, and all of the summaries and reports have been set up to your satisfaction, there is still the issue of unforeseen scenarios. You won’t be able to find or fix all the potential conflicts until you test the entire study as one. Set up a new site, enroll several patients, take each one through the entire screening/dosing/withdrawal/etc., process. Then do it again with another patient and another, until you have ironed out as many eventualities as possible. Even then, there may still be unforeseen problematic scenarios, but the purpose of UAT is to mitigate the number of issues that might come up during the Live study as thoroughly as possible. UAT is also a good way to provide you and your team with a finalized, succinct idea of what, exactly, you are signing off on before your sites begin entering patients. Once you complete your final run-through of the study, you can rest assured that you have done everything you can to make your study run smoothly.
One of the most important aspects of the clinical trial process is making sure that the right people have the right access to view and edit study data. One could argue that the success or failure of a drug trial hinges on the proper assignation of permissions to each team member. Permissions are the barriers that prevent important data from falling into the wrong hands or, equally as problematic, not being received by the right hands. The key to managing the user permissions for your trial is understanding what the basic user permissions are. From there you can customize them depending upon the needs of your unique trial, with help from your EDC provider.
The first and most important thing to note before you begin assigning permissions is that one, and only one, member from your team should be assigned to manage all user permissions. This is typically the job of your Project Manager (PM), and it is important for that person to be trained on permissions, in general, and your team’s needs, specifically. Your Prelude PM can help you set up the initial users if you are unsure where to start, and they can offer guidance and support throughout the life of the trial. It is up to you and your team, however, to ensure that you have the necessary users set up with the proper permissions before your trial begins. There is no one set process for determining your user permissions, but it is important that no more than one person should have the ultimate power to edit and manage the users and permissions in the system. This measure is in place to prevent conflicting user assignments or improper access to data being given to users. Having a streamlined process for managing user permissions is a vital pillar of Good Clinical Practice (GCP). It also mitigates confusion and promotes communication.
The second thing to note is that the earlier you get your users and permissions set up, the better. The farther into a study you get, the more complicated and potentially problematic it becomes to change the permissions. For example, if you determine that the Investigator should not have been able to view the treatment assignments of their patients halfway through the study, your results from the first half of the study might be deemed unusable. That would be bad!
Finally, do not rely on your EDC provider to know what permissions you need for your trial. It’s your study and your neck on the FDA chopping block! This is where proper training comes in. Here are four basic user-access categories to keep in mind when setting up and managing your user permissions and remember: your Prelude team is here to help and guide you should you need further customizations.
1. Prelude personnel
This includes your Prelude PM and Prelude Quality Assurance (QA) team. The PM will have Administrator access-only to your Live study so that they can assist you with user access issues and mid-study updates. QA will also be able view all study forms so they can ensure they meet industry standards. Neither of these roles will be given data-entry access to patient forms.
2. Non data-entry personnel – This category includes two sub-categories, both of which are given view-only access to patient forms:
- Roles which can view and edit all user/site/project forms, e.g., Project Manager, Monitor.
- Roles which have limited access to view and edit user/site/project forms, e.g., Coordinator, Medical Monitor.
3. Data-entry personnel – This category includes two sub-categories:
- Roles which can view and edit all patient data, e.g., Investigator
- Roles which have limited access to view and edit patient data, e.g., Patient, Lab Technician.
4. View-only personnel
These are the roles which, like Prelude personnel, cannot edit any data and can only view the forms which are necessary for them to view (again, as determined by you and your team), e.g., Sponsor, Statistician, Data Manager.
Of course, there will always be exceptions to these basic permissions. Perhaps your Medical Monitor should be able to enter patient data, or your Lab Technicians shouldn’t be able to view site data. You can also, of course, add or remove roles according to your every whim (well, maybe not every whim, but we’ll do our best). This is the beauty of using a highly customizable system like the one provided by Prelude. The possibilities are endless! Whatever your study needs, Prelude delivers. Our system is designed to make your study run as efficiently as possible by catering to your unique needs. Customize away!