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CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Business Intelligence Manager wins NIHR Digital Innovation Award

CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Business Intelligence Manager wins NIHR Digital Innovation Award

Clinical Research Network (CRN) Kent, Surrey and Sussex's Business Intelligence Manager James Pearson won the Digital Innovation Award at the 2019 NIHR Digital Festival for two online tools which have transformed data collection within primary care and how meetings are recorded.

The first tool collects recruitment and site data from GP surgeries and non-NHS sites with Google Apps Script.  Although Local Portfolio Management Systems (LMPS) are already being used throughout secondary care sites, for non-NHS activity and primary care organisations, there has not been an obvious method to collect recruitment activity. Providing each GP surgery or non-NHS organisation with a LPMS would be a significant challenge, and take a large amount of time and resource. Also collecting this information manually would be extremely time consuming and inefficient.

James Pearson created a Google sheets / Apps Script tool, which creates ‘child’ Google sheets, one for each organisation, linked to a ‘master’ sheet, so that recruitment activity can be automatically collected, collated, processed and downloaded in a format that can be uploaded into an LPMS in a single upload.

The tool emails out each sheet initially to each organisation, with a customised email text. Entered information is validated, while study details are pulled automatically from the ‘master.’ The tool also allows automated chasing of recruitment, so that if an organisation has not recorded recruitment or ticked a box to report’ no new recruitment’ after a certain number of days, the tool will send an automated email to remind the organisation to either record recruitment or report that there has not been any recruitment activity.

Custom messages, for example advising of a data cut or a change in contact details, can also be instantly pushed to the ‘child’ sheets via a live link. The tool also provides user friendly reporting.

Becky Dilley, Research Delivery Manager for primary care at CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “I'd like to take the opportunity to personally thank James again for the work he’s done on the collection and uploading of recruitment data from General Practices. This also has the potential to support the process in all non-NHS settings and has taken away a lot of the work we would have to allocate within the primary care team. Thank you again James and congratulations!”

The second tool created by James has transformed how CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex record meetings as meeting minutes have been replaced with action logs. Meeting actions are taken live in the meetings, via iPad or laptop. All actions are then collected in a background Google sheet and any outstanding actions are collated. Attendees receive  regular reminders of outstanding actions assigned to them in a weekly email to remind them to complete the action/task or enable them to update the record. A summary of all actions is accessible live to all attendees, and can be reviewed at the start of each meeting.

Administration team time is saved as they do not have to take / transcribe minutes, as actions can be entered by any meeting attendee on mobile device or computer. This process makes use of our NIHR cloud technology and the use of digital technology helps us be ‘actions focused’ and efficient.

Dr Kate Jones, Chief Operating Officer NIHR CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “We are all very proud of James and happy that he has received national recognition for his innovative and high impact work.  James continues to work on digital solutions and innovations and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”

Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer for the CRN presented James with his award.