IRB Grand Rounds: A Novel Educational Format for Human Subject Research Protection Programs


Problem Statement
Education of all stakeholders in the HRPP has long been recognized as a key to improving research compliance. GRs are commonly used in academic centers to disseminate information among the academic staff and it has been a very effective tool to propagate best practices and foster collaboration. While many different stakeholders conduct education on research compliance, the use of GR has not been a conventional method. We proposed that having regularly scheduled GRs might attract a large audience and in turn create a good forum for HRPP education.

Program Description
This large academic medical center has a significant medical and socio-behavioral research portfolios comprising of approximate 3,200 active studies. In preparation for the GRs, a needs assessment was conducted that identified that stakeholders would be more likely to attend educational offerings if they included the following factors: common practical topics related to research compliance, such as management of conflict of interest, electronic consenting, and criteria for approval of research; and the availability of Continuous Medical Education, Nursing Education, and other forms of education credits. These were taken into consideration and the GRs were initiated on August 13, 2013. In addition to the live presentations, members of the HRPP may access the slides archived on the Human Subject Research Office’s website for review at a later date.

The total number of GR so far has been 16. The audience has varied, from 40 to 90 people, with a mean of 75. The evaluations of the GRs over time were collected and attendee feedback is used to identify topics of interest. The largest audience was observed when electronic consenting was discussed suggesting the forward-looking approach of the HRPP. All the speakers were local experts from our large academic institution.

Suggestions for Future Usage
We believe that IRB GRs are a very important forum to propagate best practices and foster collaboration. It is our view that this may be done with minimal cost and, hence, could be reproduced in many other institutions and be tailored to suit the local needs. We anticipate live streaming of our program in the future for greater participation.