What are the benefits?
As REC/IRB administrators face an ever-increasing amount of paperwork, RHInnO Ethics takes away the complex process of creating paper-based data collection thereby making it as simple to use as Gmail or any other web application. This enables RECs to work more efficiently. RHInnO Ethics allows users to enter and manage information about research projects and proposals. This could include some of the following details: principal investigator, reviewers, the source of funding, attachments, descriptions, comments, supporting documents and much more. The system provides a platform for ethics review management, online engagements and discussions, and social networking. When users log into RHInnO Ethics, they see a list of recent actions and alerts, for example, if a project is not completed or if it needs to be reviewed and/or if a new project has been submitted or approved. RHInnO Ethics sends real-time reminders to the different user profiles (i.e. administrators, reviewers, researchers) thereby allowing/enabling them to act promptly.
How will RHInnO Ethics benefit you?
Provide clear strategic direction for overall research governance
Improve management of information flows
accountability and transparency
Enhance control of research activities
Increase integration or coordination between research information systems
Standardize and harmonize research review process
Speed up the review process thereby improving efficiency
Avoid loss of submitted materials and delays in communication
Improve the quality of information
Main Functionalities of RHInnO Ethics
RHInnO Ethics facilitates the submission and support of online ethics applications, providing real-time tracking, automated notifications and real-time perusal of reviewers’ comments. In addition, researchers receive both submission and approval certificates, fully e-signed by the relevant authority. Furthermore, RHInnO Ethics ensures accessibility to online and current institutional resources, including but not limited to templates, policies and guidelines.
For Ethics Committee Reviewers
RHInnO Ethics enables reviewers to receive and accept/decline invitations to review research protocols electronically. Reviewers can access assigned protocols and relevant supporting documentation online and in real-time as well as comment on assigned protocols. After review, reviewers can submit their comments (electronically) to the committee administrator and access other reviewers’ comments once all reviewers assigned to the protocol have submitted their comments. Further, reviewers have access to current REC guidelines and policies via the information resources.
For Ethics Committee Administrators
RHInnO Ethics assists the committee administrator by providing notifications when new protocols are submitted. Coordination of the entire 4 review process is managed by making use of these notifications and promptly acting on them. The administrator is able to conduct a quick appraisal of the protocol before inviting reviewers to conduct their reviews electronically. Administrators are then able to collate the reviewers’ comments electronically and forward the necessary correspondence to the researcher. Online monitoring of protocol, review turnaround times and anticipated delays further assists the administrator in managing and ensuring efficiency throughout the review cycle. Additionally, the administrator can edit the communication templates, add the institution’s official logo, welcome message and authorizing staff’s electronic signatures, which makes information easy to manage. The application queries make it possible for the administrator to maintain continuous communication with the Principal Investigator, beyond a specific project’s lifetime.