Quality Assurance Training: Will a New Training Intervention Improve Data Collection of the Texas Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program (TEMRAP)?




Saldana, Miguel Antonio


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Introduction: Data collection is vital for the success of a clinical research project. The purpose of this practicum was to address the inadequate data collection by the Texas Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program (TEMRAP) research associates (RAs). The primary goal was to incorporate a more efficient training method to reduce the RAs' error rate in the documentation. The secondary aim of this experiment was to determine if RAs' knowledge of clinical research studies and/or their self-confidence when enrolling a patient had an effect on quality of data collection and if these variables could be improved by a new training method. Methods: A randomized clinical trial was used to evaluate the efficacy of simulated clinical research enrollment training as a teaching and/or learning method to reduce the error rate in submitted research packets by RAs. The returning RAs were randomized into an intervention group with new training (simulations) and a control group with current training (didactic presentations). A self-confidence survey and a knowledge questionnaire were completed by RAs pre/post-training and one-month follow-up. Quality of data collection was measured by comparing the error rates of data collection in completed clinical research enrollment packets submitted by the RAs in the intervention group versus the control group. Results: Results showed no statistically significant difference in the level of knowledge, confidence or error rates between the patient enrollment simulation (intervention) group and the didactic presentations (control) group after their respective training (p [greater than] .05). However, there was a statistically significant increase in knowledge and confidence post-training in patient simulations group. A significant association was present between confidence and error rate but not between knowledge and error rate for research associates in either training group. Conclusion: Clinical simulation training was not a significantly more effecting training method compared to current TEMRAP didactic presentation training. Even though knowledge and confidence did increase post-training there was no significant difference between the two types of training. Future experiments should explore the possibility of combining the two types of training and observing other potential variables affecting the quality of data, such as research associates' motivation. Additionally, the need for a larger sample size and enrolling participants with no prior research experience should be explored for significant results.