Richmond Pharmacology is a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) based in London. Established for over 20 years, the company works with international pharmaceutical and biotech organisations, conducting early phase human clinical trials with patients and volunteers.
Every drug trial generates massive amounts of drug and patient data. Intellectual property (IP) and data security are therefore crucial to ensure the secure and safe management of patient data under UK-GDPR and IP is a valuable business asset. The loss of any trial data could potentially lose their clients millions.
Tracking & Managing Trial Data Safely & Efficiently
Richmond Pharmacology needed real-time location tracking (RTLS) and an efficient and secure system to manage the handling and processing of the huge volumes of patient files that relate to clinical trials. For every volunteer or patient, this includes GP reports, hospital records, health and drug data and detailed reports on their management regime and progress.
Hard Copy vs. Digital
In other industries the demand for speed would dictate that all data be now recorded digitally; the clinical trials world is very different. To meet the demands of drug licensing bodies, these patient files are kept in original, hard copy to demonstrate the drug’s efficacy and safety for commercial production. For any one trial, there could be hundreds, if not, thousands of files of patient data that have to be kept secure.
Compliance & Risk
Highly sensitive medical data has its own compliance and risk considerations. All patient data needs to be managed appropriately. In this industry, compliance is a commercial pre-requisite. Losing patient files and valuable IP will result in considerable reputational damage that will result in loss of business.
Richmond Pharmacology needed a more efficient method of tracking the location of individual files as they move around the building. Existing manual processes cost time. Different people can have access to these files at any one time, so if the file is not in the archive, locating it quickly could be a challenge, particularly as the business was now operating out of more than one site and files could be travelling between buildings.
THE SOLUTION – ZONAL RTLS ASSET TRACKING
Following scoping meetings, Assettrac configured a real-time, zonal RFID/RTLS asset tracking system to be implemented across two Richmond Pharmacology sites in London.
1 – Zonal RTLS Asset Tracking
Each patient file is individually tagged with an RFID tag and can be checked in and out of the archive with a handheld RFID tracking device, recording the date and time the file leaves and with whom. As the files move around the building they are tracked in real time by antennae sited on every floor and at every entrance and exit. As a file passes a sensor, the RFID tag pings its location with a time and location for every stage of its journey which is then recorded in the central cloud portal.
2 – Fast Location of Any Trial Data Asset
Real-Time Location Tracking enables employees to find files quickly using hand- held scanners if they can’t locate an individual file or box. With the hand-held device operating a little like a geiger counter, the operator can enter the file RFID reference number into the handheld device and as they search for the file, the scanner will beep as the individual gets closer to the file.
3 – Instant Reporting
Customised reporting enables Richmond Pharmacology to have a full report of all files in the archive and out with team members at any point in time. This gives them the power to know what is in the archive and to chase up anyone who still has a file on their desk.
4 – Security Alerts
The highly flexible reporting system was tailored to trigger alerts if a file leaves the building and doesn’t reach the next building (and RFID sensor) within a specific time period. The company can then combine this information with CCTV to see who has left with the file and therefore where it has gone.
CLIENT OUTCOMES – ASSET TRACKING PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS & TIME-SAVINGS
Robust processes are the DNA of any research organisation. A reliance on paper-based research had previously stood in the way of capitalising on the benefits of digital process improvement. Assettrac’s cloud asset tracking portal, has enabled Richmond Pharmacology to move from repetitive manual processes and benefit from time-savings and faster (and easier) digital auditing processes.
“The zonal asset tracking and management system is a game-changer for our organisation, enabling us to speed up our handling of information and at the same time, ensuring the highest standards in data management procedures are maintained without impeding the team’s access to clinical trial data for their work. As a result, the digital processes have given us huge peace of mind, we’re working more efficiently and the team is saving a huge amount of time every day.”
Kemal Rajabally, Finance Director Richmond Pharmacology
Digital Archive Register
Under the previous manual system, only certain people were allowed to access the archive and take things out. With the Assettrac system, the company could save time as the manual sign-in/sign-out process was replaced by a real-time digital tracking system and automated reporting.
All trial data can be located quickly using the handheld scanner and zonal tracking, rather than searching for it manually.
The company saves time producing clinical asset reports, with customised, pre-designed reports that are accessible with up-to-the- minute data.
CLIENT OUTCOMES – IMPLEMENTATION & EASE-OF-USE
Assettrac worked as a team with MPP Digital, digital consultants to implement the on-site hardware while Assettrac developed the customised portal and app for the company.
Implementation & Use
Implementation was smooth and completed in just a few visits. As a result, the company decided to extend the system into a second building and expanded its use to track IT.
As the system is intuitive, training was swift, focusing on the IT and administrative teams. Training included learning how to tag files, to use the portal, produce reports and use handheld devices to check files in and out.
“The actual implementation didn’t take long, just a few visits. The challenges at the time were linked to equipment sourcing following Covid. Assettrac went above-and-beyond to source the right hardware and to put it together with their software to make sure it all worked for the client.”
Nick Scarff, Project Lead, MPP Digital
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