How Implementing Salesforce Improved Clinical Research Efficiency

Huron partnered with Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) to deploy Salesforce which streamlined its electronic data capture (EDC) system and reduced deployment timelines.

Investigator Initiated Trials (IITs) are a vital component of a center’s portfolio of research activity with electronic case report forms (eCRFs) serving as the conventional tool for collecting and analyzing trial data. However, development of eCRFs is often met with operational challenges, including:

Salesforce enabled my team to track eCRF requests in a more automated manner by integrating with our existing trial management system.”— Erica Wolf

  • Non-optimized processes and workflow management
  • Inadequate tracking mechanisms to facilitate time sensitive reviews/approvals between a complex array of stakeholders (i.e., EDC developers, biostatisticians, investigators and coordinators)
  • Inability to monitor workflow metrics and identify and address issues in real time

These challenges contributed to long development lead times, delaying eCRF deployment for critical clinical trials.

The Institute needed a technology solution that could be deployed rapidly, was flexible to meet the unique needs of the institution and scalable over time to manage eCRF service growth.

DFCI selected Huron as its partner to design, implement and deploy a cloud application on the Salesforce platform to:

  • Establish standardized workflows and approvals to reduce eCRF development lead times
  • Create transparency with investigators and study teams to better coordinate and simplify team communication
  • Visualize and report on DFCI eCRF operational efficiency for continuous service improvement

“Salesforce enabled my team to track eCRF requests in a more automated manner by integrating with our existing trial management system; it improved efficiency by balancing the per trial workload for each EDC designer; and it provided visibility into the process for our researchers which resulted in a more collaborative environment conducive to faster turnaround times,” said Erica Wolf, senior director, Research Informatics for Operations. “I plan to expand the use of the Salesforce product that we developed with Huron to our other clinical research operational support areas.”

Salesforce Solution Leads to Streamlined Processes

Enabled by the Salesforce platform, the new application significantly reduced email traffic, increased collaboration and improved the ability to track eCRFs development with high transparency from start to finish. Based on preliminary information, the use of the EDC Salesforce solution will significantly streamline eCRFs development and deployment time.

Given that Salesforce is a rapid development, cloud product, these investments can be easily scaled as needed to enhance efficiency and enterprise value across the spectrum of research administration and supporting information technology needs.

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