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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Efficiency Tips: Spend less time on Monitoring Visit Reports

As a monitor, you may visit several different study sites in a single week and possibly for different protocols. I often find when I get home from a trip like that it is hard to write my report and keep the details of the different sites straight. One thing I have done to successfully overcome that is to draft my report before I even do the visit. On most studies, your Lead will provide you with a template report that you will need to complete following each visit type. You might also use an electronic system to create your reports but luckily, mine are usually just MS Word templates. Every report is guaranteed to have a header section that includes the MD name, facility name and address, visit type, visit date, date of last visit, and list of attendees. You probably know all of this information before you step foot on the site so just fill it in before you go.

Things I am unsure about I highlight in yellow so I remember to return to them later. Unless this is your first visit to the site, chances are there is a previous report completed by either you or another CRA that has items that probably need to be carried over to your current report. You will want to refer to your company's SOPs and your project-specific monitoring plan to know which items get carried forward. On some of my recent reports, this has included Enrollment data (I can usually get the current number of Screened, Screen Failed, Enrolled, Early Term, and Completed subjects from the IVRS system before I even show up for the visit), summaries of Protocol Deviations to date (they stay on the report until the IRB acknowledges receipt of the deviation), SAEs that are not resolved, Regulatory Documents that need to be collected, and pending Action Items or those that have been resolved since the last report date.

Drafting your report before the visit has the added benefit of helping you write your confirmation letter and get a grasp on what activities need to take place during the visit. You will be organized before you get there and more likely to monitor efficiently if you know exactly what is outstanding.

While you are at the site, avoid keeping notes on notebook paper; just write pending items directly into the Action Items or other applicable section of your report. If the items you notes are resolved by the time you leave you may decide to dump them from your report (depending on how much detail your company/sponsor is looking for) and if not, mark them pending and submit them as part of your draft.

When I am at the airport waiting for my flight to board, I can usually knock off a draft report in about 20-30 minutes. Then when I have internet access, I just submit it and forget it (or at least until I get a revisions request)! What efficiency tips work for you?

Not getting any work done in the airport terminal?
Your company may reimburse you for airport lounge
access or you can typically get a discount pass through
loyalty to an airline or credit card offers.  In the lounge
you can be productive, enjoy snacks and beverages,
access the internet and a business center plus plug
in all of your devices.  

3 comments:

rakhi said...

its very nice and useful to every CRA. thank q

rakhi said...

Hi this is ramakrishna CRA,
i need information on how to write reports to sponsors and investigators.

Nadia said...

Hi Rakhi, when writing reports you want to capture a synopsis of how you spent your time and what you achieved during the visit. For a summary of objectives please check out my post on Interim Monitoring Visits.

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