April 22, 2024

4 Reasons You Should Consider Implementing E-requisitions on Your Clinical Trials

Over the last several years, there has been a lot of talk in clinical research about digitizing requisition forms — the paper-based documents that sites use to record patient-, visit-, and sample-specific metadata that is then entered into lab information management systems (LIMS). Requisition forms play a critical role in the flow of information from sites to labs, as the data that site staff document on the requisition is then used to demonstrate several key variables, including patient eligibility for a trial (based on factors like birth year and patient sex); sample stability (based on collection date and time), sample processing history (for important samples like patient tissue), and more. Requisitions also transmit much of the data that sponsors evaluate in aggregate to perform sample tracking and assess study trends.

Given the capabilities of today’s technology, the movement towards electronic requisition forms may seem inevitable. But in the disconnected landscape of clinical research, the silos that exist between research sites, various lab vendors, and clinical systems have complicated attempts to make e-requisitions the industry standard. 

So why should the industry embrace e-requisition capabilities now? And what factors should sponsors take into account as they weigh solutions that enable e-requisitions?

E-requisitions enforce research site compliance with sample metadata collection

One of the biggest downsides to paper-based requisition forms is that they are prone to not being filled out correctly. Today’s requisition forms are more complicated than ever due to study complexity. Given this reality, combined with the notion that sample metadata can change hands multiple times at a site before a study coordinator fills out the requisition form, it’s easy to see why sites may leave entire fields of the requisition form blank or accidentally fill out certain fields incorrectly. This in turn leads to lab queries that can put lab results, patients, and study timelines at risk.

When sponsors digitize their requisition forms, it makes it easier to implement guardrails that ensure sites never miss or incorrectly fill out a field on a requisition form. This has the potential to dramatically reduce lab queries and encourages sites to simplify their processes for capturing sample metadata. This digitized process can also facilitate sites’ understanding of how to complete a requisition by forcing them to ask questions about a certain field that they would ordinarily skip on a paper-based requisition.

E-requisitions minimize transcription errors and legibility issues

As is the case with any paper-based documents, traditional requisition forms are subject to a whole host of transcription issues. Because requisitions are often completed by hand, site staff are more susceptible to accidentally committing discrepancies or otherwise writing illegible information that leads to downstream lab queries.

Because e-requisitions are digital, sponsors never have to worry about legibility issues on their requisition forms. With less manual data entry, study stakeholders are also able to reduce transcription errors that tend to stem from recording the same data multiple times across multiple sources. 

E-requisitions streamline data flow from sites to labs and sponsors

Paper-based requisition forms inevitably hinder the movement of data from sites to other study stakeholders. Labs often do not have any foresight into incoming samples until they arrive at their facilities, and they are often required to manually enter data into their LIMS using the hand-printed requisition form. This means that labs have to spend more time accessioning samples prior to processing and testing, and sponsors lack visibility to samples until their receipt is formally acknowledged in the lab system.

Because e-requisitions digitize all of your study’s sample metadata, this information is more readily accessible to both sponsors and labs. Using integration capabilities, sample metadata that is captured in the platform is more quickly available to sites and sponsors — streamlining the accessioning process and facilitating sample tracking for sponsors.

E-requisitions reduce duplicative data entry

One of the key sources of inefficiency in clinical research is the notion that the same data is entered across various sources — including site EHR systems, paper-based requisition forms, EDC systems, and various lab systems. These manual, duplicative processes not only bog down the entire clinical trial lifecycle, but they also necessitate more reconciliation and introduce several risks (including discrepancies caused by manual data entry).

With e-requisition forms, sponsors can eliminate the need for duplicative data entry altogether. Leveraging integrations with key clinical systems, sites no longer need to enter data into the EDC, nor do labs need to manually enter data from requisition forms into their LIMS. This streamlined process can significantly reduce queries and accelerate study timelines. 

Level-up your clinical trials with Slope’s e-requisition form capabilities

Slope’s clinical trial execution platform provides an unparalleled solution for implementing e-requisition forms on your next study. Because we are vendor-agnostic, we are able to capture sample metadata from sites in real time and leverage integrations with LIMS, EDC, IRT/RTSM, and more. This approach facilitates data flow among all of your study stakeholders, while maximizing the accuracy of your sample metadata. 

Slope’s environment facilitates the use of e-requisition forms in ways that other point solutions fall short. By generating your e-requisitions within Slope, the platform is able to ensure that requisitions are filled out completely and more accurately, while automatically transmitting this data to your lab partners, EDC, and more. Slope is proud to leverage our partnerships with major lab vendors to facilitate and accelerate the rollout of e-requisitions on your trials. 

To learn more about how Slope can help you optimize the integrity and efficiency of your clinical operations with our customizable e-requisition solutions, click here to speak with an expert.

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