A Quality Improvement Initiative: Evaluating the Impact of Standardized Data Tracking Tools in the Radiation Oncology Clinical Research Office at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center




Acevedo, Katalina V.


0000-0002-3970-6946 (Acevedo, Katalina, V.)

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Developing preventative measures through intentional planning and oversight of clinical trials has the potential to increase efficiency and quality of trial processes and data. This practicum report details a Quality Improvement (QI) initiative evaluating implementation and impact of a standardized data-tracking software on clinical research data compliance in the Radiation Oncology Clinical Research Office at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). The standardized data tracker evaluated in this study was built through Quickbase, a cloud-based, low-code application development platform specializing in project management and operations optimization. This project evaluated data sets from two active radiation oncology clinical trials using repeated cross-sectional methods to compare rates of data non-compliance and trends in the types of non-compliance exhibited at baseline, one-month, and three-month post data-tracker implementation. Trends in non-compliance were reviewed and preventative measures backed by recommendations from the literature were proposed to facilitate future QI initiatives within the department. The Chi-Squared (X2) Test for Independence was used to determine whether there was a statistical difference in rates of data non-compliance across the three timepoints within studies and overall followed by post-hoc tests consisting of pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni corrections. Overall, statistical analysis revealed a significant difference in rates on non- compliance across timepoints, suggesting that implementation of the standardized Quickbase data-tracking management tool does significantly decrease rates of non-compliance. Descriptive statistics were performed to characterize the trends in non-compliance within each study across timepoints. This quality improvement project was the first of its kind to formally examine data management trends and practices within the Radiation Oncology Clinical Research Office at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The results provide positive feedback regarding the implementation of a standardized Quickbase data-tracking management tool and characterization of non-compliant data illuminated pressure points in data management workflow that can inform future QI initiatives in shifting data management from its current reactive state to a more proactive data-driven approach. Future work should evaluate the proposed preventative measurements to provide further insight into best practices that can support continuous improvement initiatives within the department.