CLINICAL RESEARCH EDUCATION AT UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS: ADAPTATION DURING COVID
Background: The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU-Anschutz) is a complex research environment comprised of three hospitals and multiple University research entities, including Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI; CTSA. CU-AMC has over $600M in research grants and over 4,000 clinical research protocols and trials. COVID-19 suspended almost all clinical research in March-April 2020. New safety, space, and research restart authorization processes were developed in real time amid frequently changing University and hospital safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) use policies. In this complex and rapidly changing research environment, investigators and study staff needed to be educated on frequent changes and processes across institutions that did not always align.
Methods: The CCTSI started a dedicated, single “COVID19 Clinical Research Restart” webpage, which provided direct access to curated resources and links to application forms necessary to restart research protocols. The CCTSI worked with all partners to create equivalent single research restart webpages, and each entity cross-referred to others’ landing page so that investigators could quickly find the correct information for each site where their research was conducted.
Results: The CCTSI COVID19 Clinical Research Restart webpage received 10% of all CCTSI webpage views, despite representing only 1% of all pages. 82% of Research Restart webpage hits were return visitors, indicating that investigators and study staff used it consistently for education during periods of dynamic change. Adult CTRC clinical research visits declined during COVID but rebounded within 6mo to pre-COVID levels due to effective education resources for research restart.
Conclusion: The CCTSI used both direct (email) and indirect (website, links to external policies and resources) methods in a successful, multi-pronged approach to education and dissemination of restart resources.